- Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Kari Matchett, Fiona Shaw, Joanna Going, Jackson Hurst, Brenna Roth, Crystal Mantecon, Zach Irsik, Kimberly Whalen, Will Wallace, Tamara Jolaine, Tom Townsend, Brayden Whisenhunt, Michael Showers, Cole Cockburn, Erinn Allison, Dalip Singh, Alex Draguicevich, Jodie Moore, Chris Orf, Christopher Ryan, Margaret Hoard, Anne Nabors, Robin Read
- Director: Terrence Malick
- Writer: Terrence Malick
- Producers: Greg Eliason, Dede Gardner, Sarah Green, Grant Hill, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad
- Associate Producers: Ivan Bess, Nicolas Gonda, Sandhya Shardanand
- Executive Producers: Donald Rosenfeld, Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz
- Art Direction: David Crank
- Casting: Francine Maisler
- Costume Design: Jacqueline West
- D.O.P.: Emmanuel Lubezki
- Editors: Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz , Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, Mark Yoshikawa
- Makeup: Darylin Nagy
- Music: Alexandre Desplat
- Production Design: Jack Fisk
- Set Decoration: Jeanette Scott
Tree of Life is a period piece centered around three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son (Hunter McCracken) of two characters (Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain) witnesses the loss of innocence.
We trace the evolution of an eleven-year-old boy in the Midwest, Jack, one of three brothers. At first all seems marvelous to the child. He sees as his mother does, with the eyes of his soul. She represents the way of love and mercy, where the father tries to teach his son the world's way, of putting oneself first. Each parent contends for his allegiance, and Jack must reconcile their claims. The picture darkens as he has his first glimpses of sickness, suffering and death. The world, once a thing of glory, becomes a labyrinth.
Framing this story is that of adult Jack, a lost soul in a modern world, seeking to discover amid the changing scenes of time that which does not change: the eternal scheme of which we are a part. When he sees all that has gone into our world's preparation, each thing appears a miracle precious, incomparable. Jack, with his new understanding, is able to forgive his father and take his first steps on the path of life.
The story ends in hope, acknowledging the beauty and joy in all things, in the everyday and above all in the family -- our first school -- the only place that most of us learn the truth about the world and ourselves, or discover life's single most important lesson.
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Filming Locations: Death Valley, USA; Lazio, Italy; Texas, USA; Utah, USA
- MPAA Warning: Some thematic material
- Production Budget: $32 million
- Production Companies: Cottonwood Pictures, Plan B Entertainment, River Road Entertainment
- Production Schedule: March 2008 - December 2008