Terrence Malick’s ‘Tree of Life’ Trailer is Breathtakingly Beautiful

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:45 am,

The Tree of Life trailer Terrence Malicks Tree of Life Trailer is Breathtakingly Beautiful

If you’ve been pining for the next Terrence Malick project, today is your lucky day. The director has spent the last five years developing his latest film, The Tree of Life. Based on the first trailer, it was well worth the wait.

Malick’s strong suit has always been his ability to tell a story visually. The Thin Red Line is a beautiful ode to life at war. Badlands and Days of Heaven are striking tales of Americana. The New World is a gloomy, historical poem. Each film has a visual aesthetic that wows many, but bores others. His movies are not for everybody, but The Tree of Life looks like it could be his best yet – and that’s just based on a trailer.

The trailer presents a vibe almost identical to The Thin Red Line – arguably Malick’s best film. A young boy’s soft narration is delivered with the poise of an experienced poet. While the trailer provides enough visual exposition to understand the characters involved, it remains mysterious with its powerful imagery and quick cuts.

Watch the trailer to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life below. I suggest you pump up the volume and play it on the biggest screen possible.

Again, I stress this YouTube format is not enough to do the visuals justice – watch The Tree of Life trailer in full HD splendor by going to Apple Movie Trailers.

You can put the pieces together with clues from the trailer and the general synopsis. This is mostly a 1950s period piece, but clearly has contemporary elements, such as Sean Penn’s involvement with NASA. In fact, the vibe is similar to The Fountain, which might serve the story well. A full explanation of The Tree of Life was released at the 2010 American Film Market:

“From the Desk of Terrence Malick….. 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.

From 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.”

The Tree of Life trailer stunning image1 Terrence Malicks Tree of Life Trailer is Breathtakingly Beautiful

While the film stars two of Hollywood’s biggest names – Brad Pitt and Sean Penn – the visuals rule the trailer. Arguably, the trailer only provides a snippet of the story, so there is much information left to be desired. Once it ends, the anticipation is overwhelming.

The trailer still presents a film with the same structural style as Malick’s previous work. If you are not a fan of his pacing, it doesn’t look like The Tree of Life will be for you. It plays like a distant memory, likely of Sean Penn’s character. The trailer itself is relatively slow, but the imagery drives it along and keeps you wanting more.

You can catch this trailer on the big screen attached to Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, which expands to over 900 theaters this weekend.

The Tree of Life hits theaters on May 27th, 2011.

Source: Apple Movie Trailers

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. This looks REALLY good, can’t wait.

  2. I want to see this but I cannot stand Sean Penn.

    • He is give or take for me. I wonder how many people here will be shocked that I actually wanna see this lol.

      • I’m not a fan of Sean Penn, but I will say that his performance and interaction with Jim Caviezel in Thin Red Line are what made that film most interesting to me in terms of characters. I think Malick’s projects are expressly for people who love movies and filmmaking & enjoy the composition of his work as much as the story told.

        • @ Jason

          I absolutely agree. Spoken like a true gentleman. Key words, breathtaking “composition” & “story”.

          • Thank you, Mag.

      • LOL, Anthony….OMG, whatever has possessed you? Are you feeling OK?

        Just joking dude. :-) This looks very impressive indeed.

        • LOL Mag I do have my moments where something such as this interests me. I cant always be the action fest guy. :)

    • The presence of Sean Penn is a deal-breaker for me as well. I’ll pass.

      • Man, what DEAL are you talking about?

  3. Looks beautiful, breathtaking and promises to be emotionally intense as well. Slow-paced films seem to be the only ones I prefer to see alone, so this could make for a great Sunday afternoon. My only hint of concern would be a child with a southern accent which his parents don’t have… these types of things can pull me out of what is otherwise a great pic.

  4. Pass. And if THIN RED LINE is Malick’s best, I’m glad I skipped the others. Because TRL still ranks in my top 5 worst films of all time. That’s right, I said it. It was crap. All the visuals in the world can’t save a boring, crappy story. Ask Michael Bay. And Malick LOVES telling a boring story not with his characters but with narration. Overused, boring and always in that monotonous tone that lulls you to sleep pondering why you spent money on a ticket for a nap.

    It’s art. I get it. But Malick is a one trick pony and that pony is starting to resemble a dead horse.

    • Only thing I’m going to agree with you on is that The Thin Red Line was bad, cause I havent seen his other films I cant say anything about them.

    • A little harsh but I agree whole-heartedly. Not a fan of Malick and I never understood the hype around him when each of his films fails to capture an audience. His tone is pretentious and so is he.

      I’ll stick with true artists like Tarsem Singh.

  5. I agree. This looka beautiful. I’ll be seeing this alone though cause out of my group of friends I’m the only one who appreciates a movie like this

  6. Oh my God! How is it that I’ve never heard of this movie before? It just blew. my. mind.

  7. LOL – Our SR readers… you guys crack me up.

    Hate Malick, hate Sean Penn. Check.

    • I don’t hate Mallick at all, but there’s nothing wrong with hating Sean Penn.

      • ha ha ha!

  8. Sean Penn is a tool, but I don’t shy away from a movie because of actor’s personal beliefs.

    This is hit or miss for me. If I see it, fine. If not, fine. Probably the latter.

  9. Relative newcommer here not too familar with Malick’s previous work but this looks good on screen no denying that. Also for what it’s worth Sean Penn is a fine actor IMHO from At Close Range – Mystic River the man has passion.

  10. I am already in line for this…i loved DAYS OF HEAVEN…truly one of the great films…and why the hate with SEAN PENN?…he was amazing in MILK…

  11. I can NOT wait for this! I’m in love with the filming and the point of view so far… <3

  12. Sean Penn?

    Sorry, pass…

  13. Looks amazing. I agree with the comments regarding Sean Penn. I’ve seen him in several interviews and he seems so joyless and hallow, but maybe that’s what this role calls for.

  14. LOL

    It’s such a joke when people get all righteous about movies based on celebrities they don’t like “personally” (like you actually can know and judge them) – you can only slam Sean Penn because he comes out and wears his politics and beliefs on his sleeve, inevitably making himself a target.

    How many actors that you “like” or “support” with your ticket money (like your ticket money actually makes or breaks them) do you think have behind-closed-doors views, behaviors or beliefs you would DESPISE if you only knew? Is it ok for you to support them just because they’re not forthcoming with what’s on their minds? If they throw money into causes you hate, but never talk about it, beat hookers, snort coke (see: Charlie Sheen) and slap little babies – but never have it exposed – is it “OK” for you to see movies with them in it, just because you don’t know they were really like that?

    It’s why I separate art from the artists, personally. Because you never really do know people and judging art like a movie based on the real-life personality of who’s in it is just specious reasoning to me. Totally, totally pointless.

    If you said “I don’t like Sean Penn’s technique as an actor – I find it unconvincing or distracting.” I’d totally get that. But a lot of the attitudes expressed here… just funny to me…

    • Kofi, sometimes a person’s “personal beliefs” are such a turn off and disgusting that it makes it hard to knowingly put my money in their pockets. Even if it is a paltry .00000001 of one penny, it’s my money he isnt getting. Commie loving bastard.

    • I don’t know anything about his politics, I just don’t like him as an actor, is that alright with you Kofi or shall I keep my opinion to myself becausse it’s different to yours?

      What you do on here, sometimes, borders on trolling.

      • First of all – PROPER ENGLISH. “Shall I keep my opinion to myself because it’s different FROM yours.”

        Second: I don’t Troll, I simply disagree. And the amount of times I voice a disagreement on a comment thread compared to the amount of times I actually disagree with what some people here are saying… It’s a very very very low ratio – we’re talking like 1:100

        Remember I read EVERY comment on every thread for about a week straight, Sam. How many times do you see airing a gripe? In the last week? Month? Months?

        • Yeah, correcting me on my English, hardly a good call. From a small grammar error because I was typing the post on my iPhone.

          And did you mean to say;

          “How many times do you see airing a gripe?” Was there meant to be a ME in there somewhere perchance?
          If we’re being picky about spelling and grammar…

          When you do comment, it’s often comes across as overly confrontational, and you know it, you assume peoples opinions for them. This was a prime example. You were assuming people don’t like Sean Penn because of his politics, how the hell do I know anything about the guys political opinions? I was commenting on my dislike for him as an actor, as were several others.

          • I personally dont mind him as an actor. But thats just me I suppose. He was in my favorite movie after: Fast Times.

            • His performance in The Weight of Water (as a gentleman named Thomas Janes)was quite enjoyable too.

  15. Looks like typical hollywood liberal hippies vs hawk conservatives stuff to me. Probably win some awards. Won’t make much money.

  16. Terrence Malick is a one of a kind auteur, absolutely brilliant. True cinema is not always about making money. It’s about the powerful emotive journey of story telling and the art and science of displaying creative beauty on screen.

    Too much of the typical Hollywood formulaic film making, whilst fun can become predictable and boring after a while. It’s good to appreciate a variety of filmic styles. :-)

    • Couldnt agree more, there is a place for blockbusters and a place for films like this, I’ll watch it and try to ignore that Penn is in it.

  17. Winner best picture??

  18. Can only say one word WOW…

  19. While visually stunning and an expression of Malick’s style..I watched it several times and tried to get a feel on what story he is trying to tell aside from spectacular visuals all I get from this is BORING..same as the Thin Red Line..I was really looking forward to that movie and then I watched it and I was so disappointed..watched it a second time and was even more disappointed..BORING…amazing visuals or not it is still boring..

  20. I smell catholic propaganda.

    • Tree of Life accurately and deftly traces the formation of the universe using the latest concepts in astrophysics and would serve as a powerful learning tool for all interested in the most recent agreed up order and manner of life arriving on earth. Just check the credits to see how much work went into this part of the movie. Further, he accurately presents the Christian concepts i.e. the best of Catholic and Episcopal theology. That is,raising children with the best from Mother and Father in the 50′s. This movie is startling in its ambition in intent, but more so in its successful attainment of its goals. I do not think it could be better. It “rocks”. Terrence Hryniuk

  21. Terrence Malick is a profound and devoted Catholic and it shows in all of his films—every single one. And The Tree of Life is by no means an exception.

    • I believe Terrence Malick is an Episcopalian unless he’s converted. I had a chance to meet the tv/movie actor Martin Sheen (who is a Catholic) four years ago. He and Malick are good friends. I asked him what religion Malick is and he told me Episcopalian.

  22. Looks dumb.

  23. This movie looks lame. I am not sure what the author finds so facinating about it.

  24. I just wanted to post a positive comment to level out things a little here! I saw the trailer along with Black Swan last night and was totally wowed by it too. I’m a big fan of poetic movie making and this seems to fit neatly into that category! Also, I really enjoyed your little article here about it and found it to be very well written!

    P.s – I am not a Catholic. Nor a christian of any kind whatsoever!

  25. I N V all of you 4 being able to watch the YouTube trailer or Apple trailer, which apparent legal or technical limitations have barred me from. Having not seen, I am left with only the most limited perspective. I can only wonder at the Aronofsky tie-in as I have always felt The Fountain should have been called The Tree of Life. The criticism given doesn’t offer enough to see the connection alluded to.

    As for the larger debate over loved/hated actors.. well, I suppose that is just human. I doubt there is anyone who is truly happy with everyone. I won’t pretend to be the exception.

    So far, all I can say is I’ll have to wait until I’ve heard more.. and how the story relates to the title would be a good place to start.

  26. This movie looks magnificent.
    We rarely see such a profound kind of movie these days.
    I’ll be happy to watch this movie.