The last time we updated you on The Tree of Life, the super-secret, super-delayed new film from reclusive director Terrence Malick, the only thing we knew for sure was that Brad Pitt and Sean Penn would be in it (possibly as father-and-son, probably in different eras), salamanders would be shown in close-up, and Oedipal longings would be hinted at. Rumors of dinosaurs remained unconfirmed.
After the film's world premiere at Cannes today (it opens in the U.S. on May 27), we know more. Kind of. It's that kind of movie. Among the known unknowns to come out of Cannes.
Yes, there are dinosaurs
The rumors are true, Terrence Malick has made a dinosaur movie. What's more, writes Movieline's Stephanie Zacharek, "they are pretty good dinosaurs, the one thing in Tree of Life that impart a genuine sense of wonder." They're also the "weirdest of all"the sights seen during the film's "bizarre symphonic passages of non-narrative spectacle," says The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw
Brad Pitt is, in fact, Sean Penn's dad
Pitt is a strict Texan who raises three boys in 1950s Waco, one of whom grows up to be Sean Penn. two son grows up to be an emotionally sealed-off architect who looks like Sean Penn. He flashes back to his boyhood in Texas, where Pitt pits the boys against one another, while mother (Jessica Chastain), is "constantly twirling about in ’50s sundresses," snarks Zacharek. (The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Appelo has a much different take on Chastain, proclaiming her "[a] new comet the film will launch onto the film scene"