The Tree of Life: worth the wait?

Prospect Magazine

Prospect Blog

The Tree of Life: worth the wait?

/ / 1 Comment

Malick's film wants to explore the big questions, but it lacks profundity

In 1979, after directing two of the greatest American movies ever made, Badlands and Days of Heaven, Terrence Malick disappeared. He moved to Paris, stopped directing, and began writing a screenplay on the origins of life on earth. For twenty years, he was the JD Salinger of American film.  On July 8, The Tree of Life, the film he began working on all those years ago opens in London.

There’s no denying its beauty, every frame a poem, lovely, enigmatic. Staring at Jessica Chastain’s face is a delight, her skin luminous, her lips sensual, her jaw line an American landscape worthy of Dorothea Lange. Her dresses make me swoon, make me wish I lived in small-town 1950s Texas. And yet…

Malick, who graduated from Harvard with a summa cum laude degree in philosophy, wants to explore

You need to be logged in to see this part of the content. Please either subscribe or Login to access.
  1. July 12, 2011


    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth” hardly seems like an “obscure” quote from the book of Job . . . an obscure quote would have involved Eliphaz or Bildad or camels.

Leave a comment


Tom Streithorst

Tom Streithorst
Tom Streithorst is a cameraman and journalist 

Most Read