The Tree Movie Review

0
0
Charlotte Gainsbourg Alerts
This introspective family drama feels rather overwhelmingly symbolic, probably due to the source novel (Judy Pascoe's Our Father Who Art in the Tree). But it's also involving and challenging as it touches on some big themes.

When her loving husband (Young) dies suddenly, Dawn (Gainsbourg) is left with four lively kids and a big house in rural Australia. The property is dominated by a gigantic fast-growing fig tree, and 8-year-old daughter Simone (Davies) is convinced her father is inside it. Certainly the events that follow suggest as much, especially after Dawn gets a job with local plumber George (Csokas) and their mutual attraction begins to blossom. Meanwhile, eldest son Tim (Byers) is looking for work so he can move to the city.

Essentially, the tree becomes the central story's character as it reacts to everything that happens. And as it keeps growing, its roots threaten to destroy the house. Metaphors don't get much less subtle than this, so it's fortunate that writer-director Bertuccelli concentrates on the characters' personal interaction. And the cast members bring out the delicate balance beautifully, with Gainsbourg and Csokas giving especially understated performances that only hint at their inner feelings.

At its core, this is a film about grief and recovery, and the story is packed with solid explorations of these issues. The tree offers sometimes painfully obvious commentary, while Simone's relationship to it is played out in an overdramatic way that's perhaps appropriate for her age. But as it goes, we are forced along with the characters to think about how we cope with loss, when it's acceptable to move on and whether home and history resides in places and objects or in our own memories and relationships.

Bertuccelli explores these issues in a way that's far more restrained than everything else in the story, which includes an invasion of frogs in the toilet, a lost bat in the kitchen, an enormous jellyfish and a cranky neighbour (Hackforth-Jones), all offering figurative commentary on everything that's happening. Even the relationship between Dawn and George is a bit schematic, as is the way the tree constantly creaks and moans. But underneath all of this noise, the film has some meaningful things to say.

Cast & Crew

Director : Julie Bertuccelli

Producer : Laetitia Gonzalez

Starring : , , Morgana Davies, Christian Byers, Tom Russell, Gabriel Gotting, Penne Hackforth-Jones,

0
0
Charlotte Gainsbourg Alerts

Comments

The Tree Rating

" OK "

Rating: 12, 2011

Advertisement

More Charlotte Gainsbourg

The Mythological Production of Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'

Lars von Trier’s latest film Nymphomaniac has been getting everyone hot under the collar since before any actual filming even began. Written and directed by...

Nymphomaniac: Volume II Trailer

Joe is a fiercely determined 50-year-old woman whose sexual drive has taken over her entire life. Her story of how she ended up injured in...

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 Trailer

Joe has always known she's been completely obsessed with sex ever since she was a young girl. Her excessive desires would see her meet man...

Jamie Bell Met a Naked Lars Von Trier, Smacked Gainsbourg Without a Hello. Nymphomaniac Anyone?

If Jamie Bell’s account is anything to go by, working with Lars Von Trier is a truly unforgettable experience. The young British actor has recounted...

Advertisement

Go and See 'Nymphomaniac' This Weekend, Because It's Really Good

This weekend sees the limited release of Lars Von Trier’s latest mindbender: Nymphomaniac. Fans of the enigmatic Danish director will relish the chance to see...

With 96%, Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac' Could Be 2014's Best Movie

We've been writing about Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac for a couple of years now, reporting on the explicit sex scenes, the madness, the whole circus....

Nymphomaniac Movie Review

At four hours long, this drama is as confrontational as anything we've seen by Lars von Trier (Melancholia), but it's also perhaps his most humane...

Forget Shia LaBeouf's Diva Act, 'Nymphomaniac' Is A Runaway Berlin Hit [Trailer + Pictures]

Lars Von Trier's controversial new movie Nymphomaniac has gone down a storm with critics after having premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. However, cast member...

Advertisement