Director Terrence Malick is known for his films with depth, with images peppered with many different interpretations. As a result, the films can be experienced differently by each viewer and their visual language allows them to develop a unique dynamic. But with all these meaningful images, it is not uncommon that you lose sight of the actual film and it is difficult to follow the story.
This can also be said about his family drama The Tree of Life, which contains many flawless animations that visualize everything from the smallest components of life to supernovae. Optically, this is quite impressive and also fits the core message of the film, but still seems too long at times. Nevertheless, The Tree of Life knows how to convince thanks to its outstanding actors and its slow, but in no way boring, but rather intense narrative style. For all those who are open to Malick's creations, there was good news in 2018, as The Tree of Life received an extended cut, which adds another 50 minutes to the film, which lasts almost 140 minutes in its theatrical version. Above all, these extensions shed light on Jack's childhood and illustrate the events that slowly led him down the wrong path.
Although this gives the film an enormous runtime of more than three hours, it also offers a certain added value through the numerous insights, which should not be neglected by fans of the film. On the other hand, the Extended Cut is not likely to change the opinion of those for whom the theatrical version was already too challenging to endure.
The theatrical version was compared to the Extended Cut (both included on the American Blu-ray by Criterion)
- Runtime difference 2994,67sec (= 49:54 min)
The Criterion Collection logo was added.
Mrs. O'Brien can be seen in various scenes after she received the news of her son's death.
A neighbor's boy brings over some food.
More people are walking around the building.
Jack greets another friend.
There is a short masked ball to see.
We accompany Jack on his way through a museum, which presents not only numerous animals, but also the ancestors of modern man. He is always accompanied by a woman, while he seems to lose himself more and more in the past.
The pier can be seen longer.
Jack's life doesn't seem to have gone very well. We see some of his confrontations with shady characters. Moreover, his gaze lingers on trees several times and we see him sitting in an airplane in panic.
More shots from the past.
The children look at two more chicks that have fallen out of their nest.
The prison can be seen from outside, while some of the inmates stick their arms through the bars.
Jack and his mother interact more with each other. This also gives you more insight into Jack's activities, like lassoing and weeding.
Mr. O'Brien asks his son Steve if he is finished.
The family is eating longer and Mr. O'Brien is drinking from a bottle of spices.
We learn something about the father and what happened to him.
Jack talks about an experience with a three-legged dog while watching the children play with the dog.