'The Tree of Life' a story of memories, innocence

Moviewiseguys.com photo: Brad Pitt plays the role of the father in this week’s film in the Guelcher Film  Series, “The Tree of Life.”Moviewiseguys.com photo: Brad Pitt plays the role of the father in this week’s film in the Guelcher Film Series, “The Tree of Life.”This week’s film in the Guelcher Film Series is an incredible story about family and the loss of childhood innocence, that is sure to keep audiences captivated.

The Tree of Life is written and directed by Terrence Malick, and the 2011 film has thus far received positive feedback from critics.

Viewers are enthralled with its artistic views and creative directive style.

Accompanied by beautiful animation envisioning dinosaurs and the creation of Earth, this story is a beautiful work of art that focuses on a child’s innocence.

With underlying Christian values, this film centers around Jack O’Brien’s (Sean Penn) life as he tries to reconcile a relationship with his father while having flashbacks from his childhood.

In the opening scene, Jack’s family learns of his brother’s death at the age of 19. This event throws the family into grief that priovides the central theme of the film.

An adult Jack admits to his father that he thinks about his dead brother almost every day.

From this scene, the current day adult Jack flashes back to his childhood.

The O’Brien family lives in Waco, Texas, in the 1950s, and the story begins when Jack is born.

When he is young, he is seen as a soul who does not see evil in the world, much like his mother’s (Jessica Chastain) demeanor — childlike and accommodating.

Jack’s father (Brad Pitt), is a harsh man who struggles with the love he feels for his sons and the tug of paternal duty. He struggles at work and rather unsuccessfully tries to sell patents to his inventions.

Eventually, Jack’s world becomes darker and less innocent when he experiences a feeling of rebelliousness in his teenage years.

He commits acts of vandalism and animal abuse, but is left confused about his actions.

This film deals with the hardship of losing a loved one, while losing the wild innocence of a young child.

“The Tree of Life evokes the wonderment of life’s experience. It created within me a spiritual awareness, making me more alert to the awe of existence,” said film critic Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun Times.

Without a doubt, this remarkable story paired with an outstanding cast and the artistic qualities of this film will leave audiences feeling the same way.

This film shows Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. The cost is free to Mercyhurst students with ID.