Monday, November 14, 2011

The Tree Of Life--A Brief Review

(Here's a brief review of the summertime movie, The Tree Of Life, which I just saw last night with my home church group.)

Nearly 24 hours after seeing it, I’m still thinking about the movie. Afterwards, I immediately liked the first half better than the last. I was very moved and kept thinking, “Oh, God, what is man that you are mindful of Him? You created the heavens and the earth and are right now sustaining all of life—and still you are with us.”

I found the second half difficult to watch. . .and then I began thinking about it in the middle of the night. I was deeply moved all over again. The wife and mother signifies grace. She is secure and loving and far from judgmental while fully involved in her son’s lives. Her family thrives from her involvement. She has nothing to achieve—only to love and share. The husband and father signifies living by the flesh and the futile attempt to achieve a life apart from Christ. He is terribly insecure because there is always something he has to do, something he has to accomplish. The difference between the two is stark and stunning. When the father leaves on an extended trip, the whole family emerges healthy and vibrant and full of love and grace for each other. When he returns, everyone tenses and returns to living by instruction and the fear of failure. The difference is amazing. . .and uncomfortable.

I felt deep sorrow for the husband and father, who tried so hard to teach and shape his sons and wife—even for their good, or so he believed. Each measured attempt added distance to their hearts until love, given and received, was lost amid the classroom that had become their family life. They became disconnected, and intimacy lost exploded in frustration and anger amongst them all.

I’ve seen that before.

The end was pretty great. The truth—that we have no kingdoms to create, no castles to erect and guard because God Himself is Planner and Creator and Sustainer and Fulfiller—beautifully dawned upon each person. Rest had always been available, but was now accomplished. They got it. I think I did too.

So now I really like the movie. A lot. I’m going to watch it again and I suspect I will like it even more. Maybe make it onto my Top Ten list.


  1. Aletta Ticki Martinez7:46 PM

    Where is it showing Ralph?

  2. It's no longer in theaters, but available on DVD and BluRay.

  3. Jon Schroeder7:47 PM

    It grew on me, too. At first I wrote it off as a pretentious Calvin Klein ad wanna-be, but it eventually seeped in.

  4. Jon--I always loved your humor, my friend. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Rich Buonocore7:48 PM

    Thanks for the movie info... you might consider being a movie critic on the side... oh wait... no forget that. Then you would be exposed to movies not rated for healthy viewing. Love you brother!!