New ‘Tree of Life’ poster, plus Brits to get first dibs?

Posted by · 12:39 pm · March 28th, 2011

UPDATE: According to Anne Thompson, Fox Searchlight have denied reports of the early UK release date. Empire, however, is standing by their story, based on the word of UK distributor Icon. Watch this space.

EARLIER: I’ll admit that when this Empire scoop first popped up on my Twitter feed, I had to check my diary to make sure I hadn’t slept through to April 1. But there it is. While Terrence Malick’s endlessly awaited “The Tree of Life” will play Cannes in May, as was confirmed last week, the film will not have its world premiere at the festival. That honor apparently falls to the UK, where the film will hit screens on May 4 — one week ahead of Cannes’s opening day, and just over three weeks ahead of its Stateside release.

While I imagine Cannes director Thierry Frémaux is less than thrilled with this turn of events, I’m obviously pleased — and not just because it’ll enable me to bypass the inevitable press crush (and ‘first’ review race) when the film screens on the Croisette, something I’ve been secretly dreading as the festival draws nearer.

Those are wholly selfish concerns, but I think it’s good news for the film, too — a London premiere may seem the less glamorous route, but it could prove a smart way to release some of the immense pressure that’s been piled upon Malick’s latest after years of anticipation. The heightened festival environment can be a harsh place to unveil titles of this magnitude, with many critics obliged to offer snap yay-or-nay verdicts. So if the film arrives in Cannes at least a partially known quantity, with international critics coming to it with managed expectations, that may be no bad thing.

Anyway, the upshot is that I’ll be providing you with a full review of “The Tree of Life” ahead of the Cannes madness — and it won’t be one hastily written on two hours’ sleep, from a cramped corner of the wi-fi lounge. Huzzah. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, this handsome new poster also landed today:

→ 31 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

31 responses so far

  • 1 3-28-2011 at 12:44 pm

    Joey said...

    Why am I thinking of I Heart Huckabees?

  • 2 3-28-2011 at 1:11 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Awful poster

  • 3 3-28-2011 at 1:20 pm

    Simon Warrasch said...

    This Movie will be amazing! I smell right now Oscar Nominations for Picture, Director, Lead Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, Score, Editing, Cinematography, Coustumes (?), Score, Sound Mixing (?), Sound Editing (?)!

  • 4 3-28-2011 at 1:40 pm

    Celine said...

    Hurrah for once we get first dibs.

  • 5 3-28-2011 at 1:53 pm

    Andrej said...

    The poster looks like the results from a Google Image search.

  • 6 3-28-2011 at 2:36 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Those images should’ve made a tree.

  • 7 3-28-2011 at 4:06 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    As they pointed out at, look directly two images down from where it says “The Tree of Life” for the first peek at a dinosaur. It looks like a velociraptor standing in a river. Very interesting…

    I can’t wait for this.

  • 8 3-28-2011 at 7:21 pm

    JFK said...

    This is beautiful, I hope it delivers.

  • 9 3-28-2011 at 7:34 pm

    americanrequeim said...

    not really a poster…but im excited

  • 10 3-28-2011 at 7:43 pm

    sosgemini said...

    This poster does everything a posters should do, make me want to the film. Never been a fan of Malick but I am sold.

  • 11 3-28-2011 at 7:47 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Entertainment Weekly declares this the best poster of 2011, and says it will not be beat.

  • 12 3-28-2011 at 8:23 pm

    fitz said...

    I’m anticipating this a great deal. Luckily, the poster has checked my expectations a tad.

  • 13 3-28-2011 at 8:47 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    This is such an amazing poster, because you seem to notice something new and interesting every time you take another look at it. Yeah the paneling is a bit distracting, but I’d be an idiot if I said I hated it.

  • 14 3-28-2011 at 11:46 pm

    Samuel said...

    There’s a dinosaur in it. That is all.

  • 15 3-29-2011 at 4:33 am

    The Dude said...

    Given the two posters the preceded this, I think it’s a bit weak (and a bit jumbled as far as the text is concerned). That said, it’s worth it just to see the dinosaur image. The rumors were true!

  • 16 3-29-2011 at 7:26 am

    ChrisG said...

    I kind of like it. It seems more like the trailer cut in pieces and put together to a poster. But it works for me. Very colourful, very unusual. And a dinosaur! But I don’t want to see any more of the film, and especially the dinosaurs, until I can finally see the whole damn thing.

  • 17 3-29-2011 at 8:15 am

    Sam C. said...

    I spot a dinosaur! The only thing about this film that is making me excited.

    A UK release is smart, like you said Guy, for US critics will likely praise it into the ground, UK scribes are less likely to throw the inevitable “masterpiece” into the mix.

  • 18 3-29-2011 at 9:31 am

    A.J said...

    Wait what is this film about?

  • 19 3-29-2011 at 11:55 am

    red_wine said...

    The poster is more or less screencaps of the trailer with some text. Like the “proof of quality” compound screenshots they have on bit torrent websites.

    A.J. It is about a small boy in the 50’s who is so traumatized by his father’s abuse that he starts having flashbacks from his past life when he was a dinosaur who watches the extinction of his family when a meteor hits the earth. Meanwhile the boy has now grown up into a still traumatized man and in one mass genocide tries to sabotage the Large Hadron Collider experiment to off humanity in one go. All this of course is done with ‘grace’ as it is the best way through life.

  • 20 3-29-2011 at 2:04 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Where are you getting this, red_wine?

    Besides, a detailed, literal explanation for a film like this seems rather misleading. The film is about life and the universe, and stuff like that. Yeah.

  • 21 3-29-2011 at 2:33 pm

    Andrew M said...

    If Red Wine’s post is the actual description, then it sounds very interesting.

    Also, I wouldn’t say I hate the poster, but it just seems a little lazy.

  • 22 3-29-2011 at 3:59 pm

    Pauley said...

    Amazing poster. Not as effective as the one with the babys’ feet, but still beautiful and captivating.

  • 23 3-29-2011 at 6:32 pm

    DylanS said...

    Joey: I had the exact same reaction as you. A very bizzare choice of poster design for this film from this Director.

  • 24 3-30-2011 at 3:38 am

    JJ1 said...

    Simon, you forgot visual effects. :)

  • 25 3-30-2011 at 4:06 am

    Glenn said...

    At first I was all “this isn’t a bad poster, but it’s certainly not a good one.” Now I hate it and wish it never existed.

    How EW can claim it’ll be the best poster of the year is beyond me.

  • 26 3-30-2011 at 9:13 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    The Guardian is now also saying TOL will open in the UK on May 4. I love this part of their article,

    “Jeffrey Wells on Hollywood Elsewhere caused some furore with his comment that “[a] young mom in Leeds who can’t afford a babysitter will be able to take her two kids to an afternoon showing of The Tree of Life at the local plex before the Cannes elite has a looksee?””

  • 27 4-01-2011 at 6:15 am

    Scott Coleman said...

    boom, brits are going to rule this year as well as the last.

  • 28 4-01-2011 at 7:10 pm

    Fitz said...

    As far as I’m concerned Jeff Wells shouldn’t see it at all. Prick.

  • 29 4-02-2011 at 4:31 am

    Raj Himself said...

    Oh my fucking god! Freak out in 3…2…1…

    I thought Australia was screwed with a July 7 release date but now we will be lucky to see this thing prior to the rapture in 2012. Seriously WTF? What. The. Fuck.

    Bloody Icon cheap bastard knob jockeys.

  • 30 4-02-2011 at 5:35 pm

    Cde. said...

    Australia is still screwed. Waiting 6-7 weeks after a simultaneous global launch day? There’s no excuse for that.

  • 31 4-02-2011 at 5:58 pm

    Raj Himself said...

    I’m more referring to the possibility of the UK, Australia and New Zealand being left in a state of non-Tree of Life death-coma for many months to come as a result of Icon’s stingy dick wad shenanigans.

    I would love to be told otherwise but isn’t it kind of inevitable that the Summit v. Icon legal brew-ha-ha will tie the film up for ages in these territories? Then on top of that it is likely a new distributor will take time to come on board and then take more time to release it.

    Talk about a swift kick to the crotch.