‘The Tree of Life’ gets a poster… and a synopsis

Posted by · 7:34 pm · November 3rd, 2010

The pieces are gradually — very gradually — falling into place for Terrence Malick’s endlessly delayed “The Tree of Life.” First, new adoptive parent Fox Searchlight revealed a US release date of May 27, 2011. Now, courtesy of Collider, we have our first glimpse, albeit not of the finest quality, of a sales poster for the film. A bit of a half-and-halfer, as far as I’m concerned: the image is stark yet subtle, but the clunky typography carries a fan-made look to it.

In addition to the poster, the studious Collider folks have also dug up a synopsis — one that’s been kicking around for a while, I hear — for those itching to know what the hell the film is actually about. It carries a spoiler warning, so I can’t say I’ve read it myself, but it’s also included after the jump if you feel so inclined. Now the only remaining question is: when, are where, are we finally going to clap eyes on it? Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, or none of the above?

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.

→ 16 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

16 responses so far

  • 1 11-03-2010 at 8:02 pm

    Lance McCallion said...

    Poster is lousy, but Malick films have never fared especially well in that department. Isn’t this just an early temp piece of artwork though to give something to distributors? Same thing happened with Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Gransmaster(s)” this week.

  • 2 11-03-2010 at 8:37 pm

    tintin(uruguay) said...

    nice poster!

  • 3 11-03-2010 at 8:50 pm

    Speaking English said...

    The synopsis is incredibly generic: sounds like the story of the Buddha.

  • 4 11-03-2010 at 9:01 pm

    The Dude said...

    That particular teaser design had the potential to be quite haunting, but it doesn’t look professional enough. As Kris said, it’s got a “fan-made” quality to it that is pretty off-putting. Here’s to hoping that the theatrical poster is a bit better.

  • 5 11-04-2010 at 1:15 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Synopses are always generic. The poster makes it feel like an extreterrestrial movie or something. It does look intruiging though.

  • 6 11-04-2010 at 5:20 am

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    Let’s hope it’s great ;he hasn’t made a great picture since Badlands and a good one since Days of Heaven.

  • 7 11-04-2010 at 6:31 am

    Graysmith said...

    It’s a pretty good poster. It certainly gets the job done as a teaser. I don’t care for the typography, but I can live with it. I’d definitely like to see it in proper quality though, not a photo of a printed poster.

  • 8 11-04-2010 at 6:59 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Hunter: I think you’ll find you’re in a gaping minority there. (Not that I’m unsympathetic to such a position, of course.)

  • 9 11-04-2010 at 7:00 am

    Kane said...


    No love for Thin Red Line?

  • 10 11-04-2010 at 7:48 am

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    The Thin Red Line has wonderful scenery that is well-photographed. Unfortunately the actors keep getting in the way of it.

  • 11 11-04-2010 at 8:54 am

    James D. said...

    The Thin Red Line and The New World are both masterpieces, in my book. The New World was my fourth favorite of the last decade. I can’t wait.

  • 12 11-04-2010 at 1:41 pm

    RC of strangeculture said...

    I feel okay about the Posters, maybe it’s the angle of the shot that makes they typography feel like a “not to long ago, in a galaxy far far away…”

  • 13 11-04-2010 at 2:42 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    It looks like an 80’s Sci-fi fantasy / comedy poster. It seems so strange to actually see a newly composed poster art for a “serious movie” to look like this.

  • 14 11-04-2010 at 6:20 pm

    Kiel said...

    This is not an official poster. Great concept though.


  • 15 11-04-2010 at 6:33 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    We actually updated this post hours ago to indicate that it was a sales poster, Kiel. (Which I kind of thought went without saying, given where it was found, but alas.)

  • 16 11-04-2010 at 11:05 pm

    Glenn said...

    /3rtfu11 what about this poster looks like an ’80s comedy? I’m not that big of a fan of this poster – nothing like what the final design will look like, presumably – but its far from embarrassing.