Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’ will bloom in spring

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In May, movie theaters typically are filled with exploding robots, a light romance or family film, or maybe a ... coming-of-age drama from an enigmatic auteur?

The spring season of action tent poles and populist comedies will get an art-house boost this year: Fox Searchlight has put Terrence Malick’s long-awaited ‘The Tree of Life’’ on the calendar, scheduling the film for a May 27 release.

The move offers a strong indication that the movie will travel to the Cannes Film Festival, which opens earlier in May. (There were rumors Malick would be there last year, but the film was not finished. Malick was last on the Croisette with ‘Days of Heaven’ more than three decades ago.)

The period film ‘Life’ stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain in what Chastain told us last month is a story of ‘nature vs. grace,’ providing one more clue -- barely -- on just what this much-discussed, long-awaited project is actually about.


In keeping the movie out of the prestige-heavy fall, Searchlight gives it a little more breathing room and maybe lowers what are already exceedingly high expectations. Still, it’s a tough assignment for any serious film to get a foothold that early in the summer season, even or especially some mystical Malick moodiness.

-- Steven Zeitchik


Reading Tea Leaves on ‘Tree of Life’