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Sean Penn Found "The Tree of Life" Confusing

Posted: August 22nd, 2011 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Sean Penn Found "The Tree of Life" ConfusingSubmit Comment
Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" has been described as a masterpiece, but one of the stars of the film doesn't really agree with that assessment. In fact, he believes the film could have been a lot better.

"I didn't at all find on the screen the emotion of the script, which is the most magnificent one that I've ever read," said Sean Penn. "A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without lessening its beauty and its impact. Frankly, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing there and what I was supposed to add in that context. What's more, Terry himself never managed to explain it to me clearly."

The actor added that he would recommend the film only to those who can keep an open mind. "It's a film I recommend on the condition that one go only without preconceptions. It's up to each to find a personal emotional or spiritual connection. Those that reach this generally leave very moved."

Penn apparently wasn't very moved, just like many critics who found the film boring and nothing more than just a collection of beautiful shots.

And there are many movie-goers who didn't like what they saw on screen. In fact, the Avon Theatre Film Center in Stamford, CT had to post a warning to anyone who is considering seeing "The Tree of Life." And that warning is that there will be no refunds. Check out full warning below.

Theater Warning:


Click here to read our "The Three of Life" review.

Source: NewYorker


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Displaying 28 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
pornfly writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 8:30:11 PM

Way to pass the buck spiccoli
Max Rockatansky Junior writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 8:43:34 PM

Can we consider this the same equivalent of a number of movies he has starred in ... The International ? I Am Sam ? Shanghai Surprise ?

This coming from the actor who in his last movie decided to do his best Robert Smith impression.
Ted Mosby writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 8:53:19 PM

Thanks Sean,
cause this wasn't already confusing enough:
http://tinyurl.com/3vuz7bp
Ranger writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 9:11:37 PM

I find Sean Penn confusing, so I guess we're even.
Ranger writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 9:12:03 PM

@Ted - my vomit thanks you.
DaveThePhotoGuy writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 9:42:38 PM

This liberal douche is so far up his own arse, I am suprised he can still speak.
technoreaper writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 9:51:28 PM

Terrence Malik somehow managed to ruin "The Thin Red Line." I don't know why people still finance his movies. What are they expecting? Why not pay me millions to make crap? I guarantee most people will enjoy my movies at least.

Of course I'm not going to see this movie. I got burned back in 1998 when I was in high school by Malick, and I'm not eager to relive that torture again.
stevepoots writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 10:09:45 PM

Where's the source for this?
MarshallErikson writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 10:25:31 PM

So Malick finally got the chance to make the college art film he's always wanted to make?
Dirt writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 10:33:07 PM

I dunno about this Steve but it looks like it says the NewYorker.
Ranger writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 10:36:25 PM

lol.
Stapes writes:
on August 22nd, 2011 at 10:41:24 PM

So Spicoli found something confusing, no surprise, the man's an idiot to begin with.
zyban03 writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 12:06:47 AM

I'm not a huge fan of Penn but he's probably got a point. Like Reaper said what the hell has Malick done that's worth a damn. I used to have this film in my NetFlix queue but thanks to the "This Film is sh*t" disclaimer posted above, I'll fill that slot with Hellraiser:Revelations
krissy writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 12:47:43 AM

so thankful the theater i went to refunded me my money after walking out of this piece of crap movie.
stevepoots writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 12:49:29 AM

f*ck my ass .. didnt see that there.
Barney Stinson writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 1:34:35 AM

"Click here to read our 'The Three of Life' review."

The proofreading of WP articles never ceases to amaze me.
Ranger writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 1:57:37 AM

Honestly... theaters (and Tom Hanks, etc.) have to stop giving refunds for their movies.

We're all big people. You buy, you watched it. You can't give that experience (good or bad) back. You've taken that movie experience. You can NOT negotiate payment (or refund) for that after the fact. This will breed MILLIONS of people going to movies with the intention to never pay. Their performances to the theater manager may be better than what was on the screen.

You buy a ticket for a movie YOU wanted to see. Whether it turns out to meet your expectations or not (it's ART... it's interpretative) doesn't matter. You either go home satisfied, ok with the experience or disappointed. But the theater went through expense to provide you with that experience, as did the producers of the movie.

Try taking money back from me for something someone bought from me (that was not misrepresented)... yeah, good luck with that.
Ranger writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 2:08:39 AM

@steve - lol... you're a good sport my friend.
KillerCOck writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 2:14:17 AM

Ya beautiful SHots but real sh*tty movie
Rambo writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 2:57:39 AM

Sean Penn finds a movie boring?well,now he knows how i feel after watching one of his movies.
technoreaper writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 4:32:31 AM

The letter/message to the patrons of the Avon Theatre Film Center by the manager was probably more entertaining and thoughtful than the movie itself.
velocityknown writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 8:13:56 AM

This is going to be long because I was extremely frustrated/disappointed with this movie and the hype over it. Which I feel is just a perfect example of critics saying what they think the others will before they say it about a filmmaker who has done great things.

I can be patient with ambition, even when it fails. At least I know that someone tried and I owe it to them to sit back and put effort into what they made.

I don’t think that Malick was lazy in making this film. I just think he was so full of himself that he thought he could do no wrong. That every shot and sequence was so brilliant that it had to be included and that the world needed to see him make his art. But this movie wasn’t made for an audience, this movie was made for Malick.

Then there’s the characters. Actually, I don’t know if I can call them that because they’re not truly characters, they’re symbols and metaphors. And yet, it seems like Malick wants us to care about them. He wants us to feel emotionally moved at the end of the film, but how can we when these people aren’t real to us? Instead of showing us a 20 minute creation of the world (complete with dinosaurs) why couldn’t he have spent some time fleshing out this family? That sequence is pointless if he wants us to think of this family as anything other than tools in the grand point he’s trying to make. It doesn’t make them anymore real to us. By taking us into space and beyond, Malick has moves us figuratively and physically too far away from these people.

There are some things to like in this movie, Emmanuel Lubezki shoots it beautifully, the actors are very strong, but that can only take us so far. After a while we’re not looking at art, we’re looking at someone who thinks people should get pleasure from watching him make art for himself. And that is a truly terrible thing.
PaulX7 writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 9:12:35 AM

No refund policy. Hahahaha.

And for Penn, one of the lead actors in the movie, to say he was disappointed (well, he didn't openly say it, but we can read between the lines) by the movie and the fact that the director was not able to tell him what he wanted to achieve, that says it all. What I conclude: a movie with beautiful shots, probably very aesthetic but sh*t overall. How come it won the Palme D'or at Cannes? Well, the Cannes Festival has always, to my mind, been a stupid, rubbish festival aiming at rewarding the so-called, wanabee cinema "intellectuals" or "philosophers"...
drewsmit24 writes:
on August 23rd, 2011 at 4:49:58 PM

cant front sh*ts a truly "artsy fartsy" movie not for everyone but probably still better than king's speech
Man in Black writes:
on August 24th, 2011 at 2:37:49 AM

I am Sam... he went full retard , you never go full retard ! left the Oscars empty handed ....
My Cocaine writes:
on June 13th, 2013 at 8:57:28 PM

Hello, I'm My Cocaine.
seveltoto writes:
on November 6th, 2017 at 12:29:41 AM

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