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The tree of life

Getting ultra-philosophical on the meaning of life
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain
Directed by Terrence Malick

If Terrence Malick is a saint of cinema, then this is his holy lesson. Over a four-decade career, the mercurial American visionary has mastered absence and flowered a daunting mystery. After making one of the most impressive debuts in American film history, 1973’s "Badlands," he quit talking to the press. After the dreamy masterpiece "Days of Heaven" five years later, the perfectionist dipped a ... more >

Tree of life

Making sense of the unmakingsensable

For the last twelve months the film world rallied behind one unifying cause: seeing Terrence Malick's “The Tree of life” into a major film festival. Last year's failure to complete the film in time was deemed a disappointment by many and its absence, first from Cannes and then from Venice, was difficult to swallow.  And yet, even though I was myself disappointed, I couldn't help feeling a bit of ... more >

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Brad Pitt thrives in challenging role
Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson
Directed by David Fincher

A deep premise with facile tendencies. An emotional story at times detached. An interesting character with only so much to do. I mean, besides aging backwards. Which is a pretty neat trick, if you can get it. All these things are true about David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a movie inspired by a famous F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Everyone was rubbing the rabbit's ... more >

Babel

Multi-story narrative is reminiscent of Crash
Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael García Bernal
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Babel (Inarritu; 2006) raises an interesting question about the relationship between a film and a filmmaker. Is it entirely a symbiotic one? How much Inarritu is in Babel, and vice-versa? Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu seems very much present in Babel's stories, taking a prominent position among the individuals who form this wide net of a cast. He lifts the veil draped over human suffering and lead ... more >