Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

The Tree of Life 2011

Directed by Terrence Malick

Brad Pitt stars in Terrence Malick’s audacious, visionary The Tree of Life, Palme d’Or at Cannes. “No one with a genuine interest in the potential of film would think of missing it.” — Rolling Stone

USA In English
138 minutes

Director, Screenplay


Sarah Green
Bill Pohlad
Brad Pitt
Dede Gardner
Grant Hill


Emmanuel Lubezki


Hank Corwin
Jay Rabinowitz
Daniel Rezende
Billy Weber
Mark Yoshikawa

Production designer

Jack Fisk

Art director

David Crank

Set decorator

Jeanette Scott

Costume designer

Jacqueline West


Alexandre Desplat


Brad Pitt (Mr O’Brien)
Sean Penn (Jack)
Jessica Chastain (Mrs O’Brien)
Fiona Shaw (grandmother)
Irene Bedard (messenger)
Jessica Fuselier (guide)
Hunter McCracken (young Jack)
Laramie Eppler (R.L)
Tye Sheridan (Steve)


Cannes (In Competition) 2011


Palme d’Or (Best Film), Cannes Film Festival 2011


Where do you begin to describe the wonders of Terrence Malick’s audacious and mind-boggling The Tree of Life, winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival? Referencing his own 50s boyhood, he draws a picture of family life as archetypal as a child’s questions about God, and connects it all to rapturous visions of the origins of the universe and the end of time. We proudly present the New Zealand premiere screenings on New Zealand's giant screens - so vast a picture cries out to fill. — BG

“The sheer beauty of this film is almost overwhelming, but as with other works of religiously minded art, its aesthetic glories are tethered to a humble and exalted purpose, which is to shine the light of the sacred on secular reality… This specific postwar comingof- age story, quietly astute in its assessment of the psychological dynamics of a nuclear family in the American South at the dawn of the space age, is also an ode to childhood perception and an account of the precipitous fall into knowledge that foretells childhood’s end…

So much is conveyed – about the tension and tenderness within the marriage, about the frustrations that dent their happiness, about the volatility of the bonds between siblings – but without any of the usual architecture of dramatic exposition. One shot flows into another, whispered voice-over displaces dialogue, and an almost perfect domestic narrative takes shape, anchored in three extraordinarily graceful performances: Mr Pitt, Ms Chastain and, above all, Hunter McCracken, a first-timer who brings us inside young Jack’s restless, itching skin.” — A.O. Scott, NY Times