Tree of Life

Like most everyone, I haven’t seen many of this year’s Oscar nominees. I did see Tree of Life, though, but can’t decide if I exactly recommend it. It’s a beautiful piece of work, but it’s also slow and fairly non-narrative. Intentionally so, and I think it tries too hard to avoid telling its story conventionally. But that’s also part of the point, and the feeling you get watching it of being slightly disoriented or even sleepy is there to mimic the dreamlike unreliability of childhood memories.

I think one of the higher compliments I can pay a movie is just to say that it stays with me, and asks to be watched again. I didn’t get Eyes Wide Shut the first time I saw it but it, too, demanded to be watched over and over. Sunshine, Solaris, The Fountain, and of course 2001, to which all of these movies owe everything, evoke similarly odd states in the watching and I’ve found myself wanting to watch each again without exactly knowing why.