indieWire: One Best Picture nominee "towers above the rest."

Matt Zoller Seitz and Serena Bramble have crafted a wonderful video essay on one of the nine films nominated for Best Picture.

And you’ve gotta love the comments.

But wait, there’s more. Emmanuel Lubezki, the cinematographer, is talking to Anne Thompson about the film here.

Clearly, “The Tree of Life” is the most artful of the best picture Oscar contenders. Terrence Malick’s most personal film about nature and grace and growing up in Texas is also the most divisive because, let’s face it, this is not the ’70s. As Emmanuel Lubezki, the front-running cinematographer points out, we’re not as accepting of ambiguity and abstraction in the 21st century.

“Life is not filled with instant answers and neither are Terry’s movies,” Lubezki insists. “It seems to irritate lots of people. Some even left the theater because they had a hard time understanding the movie. This reminds me of all the movies that I loved [in the '70s] where we left the theater and discussed and disagreed. We carried the experience out into the open. Things were not over explained and you went out with your friends after and tried to either make sense of something or talk about a certain emotion or the parts that you didn’t understand that reminded you of your youth.”

Lubezki, who has since made his third film with Malick, an untitled love story with Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams about a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown while struggling with his marriage, has a new world view, thanks to the influence of the director.

“Working with Terry has changed my life,” he admits. “I’m a different parent, I’m a different husband, and I’m a different friend. I see nature in a different way since I started working with Terry. I have much more respect for things that I wasn’t aware of as much. He is one of the most important teachers in my life. And I’m a much better cinematographer in helping directors in a much more comprehensive way.”


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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.