The Tree of Life (2011)

 ●  English ● 3 hrs 8 mins

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Embedded with deep emotion and amazing visual expression, this intricately crafted family drama chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of Jack O'Brien, a middle-aged man's childhood memories of his family living in Waco, Texas in the 1950s, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth. Jack's life has been shaped largely by his formative growing-up period in suburban Waco, Texas with his parents, and his two younger brothers, R.L. and Steve. It is primarily the dichotomy between his parents that is causing an emotional conflict within him, now specifically with his father. Although both his parents loved him and his siblings, they demonstrated that love in different ways which was often at odds with each other. His mother was overly caring and nurturing, and tried to provide a sense of wonderment about the world to her children. His father was unbending, and did not tolerate disobedience as he wanted to prepare his children practically for a difficult world. Mr. O'Brien's actions were also shaped by his own internal conflicts about what he did and what he wanted to do in life. Middle-aged Jack's current thoughts also reflect back on the death of his brother R.L., who was killed in military duty at age nineteen. This thought-provoking tale explores existential questions about the meaning and origin of life, expressed through extraordinary visuals.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Brad Pitt

Crew: Terrence Malick (Director), Emmanuel Lubezki (Director of Photography), Alexandre Desplat (Music Director)

Rating: U/A (India)

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Release Dates: 29 Jul 2011 (India)

English Name: The Tree of Life

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Did you know? Mrs O'Brien reads the book to the boys at bedtime is 1908 Macmillan edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Read More
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as Mr. O'Brien
as Rue
as Jo Bates
as Robert
as Prisoner
as Harry Bates
as George Walsh
as Jack @ 2
as Grandmother
as Mr. Bagley (as Hudson Long)
as Young Jack
as Messenger
as Mrs. O'Brien
as Guide
as Jimmy
as Jack's Wife
as Bi-Plane Pilot
as R. L. @ 2
as Beth
as Cayler
as Father Haynes
as Mrs. Brown (as Kim Whalen)
as R.L.
as Jane (as Margaret Ann Hoard)
as Dusty Walsh
as Jack @ 5
as Mr. Brown
as Nicholas Swimmer
as Mr. Reynolds
as Samantha
as Mrs. Kimball
as Jack
as Mrs. Stone
as Tommy
as Steve
as Tyler Stone
as Clergyman
as Architect
as Jack's Work Colleague


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Executive Producer
Associate Producer
Production Supervisor


Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography
Still Photographer
Camera Assistant


Music Director
Music Coordinator


Foley Editor
Sound Re-recording Mixer




Art Director
Production Designer
Set Decorator
Storyboard Artist


Casting Director
Casting Associate

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer

Makeup and Hair

Post Production

Post Production Supervisor

Special Effects

Special Effects Technician


Stunt Director


Special Thanks

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Coordinator
Visual Effects Artist


Film Type:
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround 7.1
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
1.85:1 (Flat)
Filming Locations:
Factual Mistake
In the credits: Johannes Brahms's fourth symphony, second movement is heard (in a version by Herbert von Karajan, not Arturo Toscanini as in the film), but it is the fourth movement.

Crew/Equipment Visible
In a scene whereMr. O'Brien receives the terrible news at the beginning of the movie by phone, the camera and camera operator are reflected in the handset.

Mrs O'Brien's dish-washing liquid comes in a clear plastic container, which wasn't invented until after the '50s.

In a scene O'Briens have a fancy ceiling fan with lights attached in their lounge room; these were not available in the '50s.
An Italian theatre actually showed the film for a week with the first two reels switched. Even though the film starts with production logos, no one in the theater noticed and thought it was all part of Terrence Malick's "crazy editing style".

Originally Heath Ledger was slated to play Mr O'Brien. Brad Pitt took over the role.

The tree of life that appears in this film is an actual gargantuan 65000-pound live-oak tree situated at Smithville, Texas.

VFX supervisor Mike Fink described this film and Voyage of Time as being "not narratively connected, but thematically complementary pieces."

Emmanuel Lubezki said once, a whole movie focusing on Sean Penn's character could be made from cut footage.

The Tree of Life was shipped to theaters under the code name 'Oak'.

Over a million feet of this film were shot and printed, with an average of 14,000 feet per day over 72 shooting days.

Jack Fisk, production manager drew inspiration from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2005 Terrence Malick talked with Colin Farrell about starring in the lead role.

Mrs O'Brien reads the book to the boys at bedtime is 1908 Macmillan edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.