The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Written by
The critic Jim Emerson got word of what Terrence Malick intended the sequence of dinosaurs to mean, by way of the visual effects supervisor in charge of that very sequence who is Michael L. Fink. Emerson describes what he learned from Fink; "The premise of the four-shot scene was to depict the birth of consciousness (what some have called the "birth of compassion")-the first moment in which a living creature made a conscious decision to choose what Michael described as "right from wrong, good from evil." Or, perhaps, a form of altruism over predatory instinct". See more »
When Mr. O'Brien receives the terrible news at the beginning of the movie by phone, the camera and camera operator are reflected in the handset. See more »
[in a whisper]
Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.
[choir singing dirge]
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Unlike a novel the stories in this movie do not unfold, revelation following revelation, culminating in a definable message or theme. There is no moral, no hero, no emotional epiphanies. What it presents is an extraordinarily haunting vision of childhood, how the things we love the most are as fragile as morning dew yet immensely powerful. The things that connect us, separate us, and bewilder us - again and again and again throughout our lives. The saddest, most insightful, most poignant portrayal of a family I have ever seen. Genius. How can this film achieve commercial success? it seems impossible. How did a film so ambitious get made when everything that makes money today is everything this film isn't? Bravo to the producers, bravo to the early critics who are stepping up and speaking out for this deeply moving masterpiece.
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