“Malick’s unconcern for reality and coherence is more artistically and emotionally profound for its fidelity to real human lives than the films made by the younger generation of post-surrealist directors like David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, and Christopher Nolan, who also make consciousness and cognition the subject of their films. We should bless this younger generation for keeping the avant-garde from becoming totally irrelevant in our blockbuster age. Yet as ground breaking as such films as MementoInceptionFight ClubRequiem for a Dream, and The Black Swan prove to be, such films divorce the imagination from reality with a hallucinatory savagery. By contrast, Tree of Life, in its reverence for nature and its fidelity to human decency and simplicity, proves itself a film full of grace, a rare compendium of the searching mind and soul both displaying and inviting contemplation on the order of things in the manner of an earlier generation of directorial luminaries–Tarkovsky, Bresson, Resnais, Antonioni, Bergman, Kubrick, and occasionally even Godard most prominently among them.”

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