In my last Oscar update someone brought up Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life and I replied by saying it looked like Apparition was simply going to focus their attention on Bright Star and potentially The Young Victoria for their Oscar chances and today Anne Thompson confirms my speculation. Apparition chief Bob Berney told Thompson that a year-end opening was “wishful” following early word it may see the light of day on December 25. But he followed that up saying, “It’s definitely not going to come out this year.”
Tree of Life stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw and Pell James and is described as a cosmic epic, a hymn to life. As Thompson points out, Malick has been working on this film for 30 years and considering his track record of four films in 35 years of filmmaking, he’s not in any rush. Thompson speculates the film’s debut is likely to be at Cannes in 2010.
The most current synopsis I have received reads as follows:
Our picture is a cosmic epic, a hymn to life.
We trace the evolution of an eleven-year-old boy in the Midwest, Jack, one of three brothers. At first all seems marvelous to the child. He sees as his mother does, with the eyes of his soul. She represents the way of love and mercy, where the father tries to teach his son the world’s way, of putting oneself first. Each parent contends for his allegiance, and Jack must reconcile their claims. The picture darkens as he has his first glimpses of sickness, suffering and death. The world, once a thing of glory, becomes a labyrinth.
Framing this story is that of adult Jack, a lost soul in a modern world, seeking to discover amid the changing scenes of time that which does not change: the eternal scheme of which we are a part. When he sees all that has gone into our world’s preparation, each thing appears a miracle — precious, incomparable. Jack, with his new understanding, is able to forgive his father and take his first steps on the path of life.
The story ends in hope, acknowledging the beauty and joy in all things, in the everyday and above all in the family — our first school — the only place that most of us learn the truth about the world and ourselves, or discover life’s single most important lesson, of unselfish love.