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Sean Penn as befuddled as we are about 'Tree of Life'

The New Yorker's Richard Brody discovered, in Le Figaro, this wonderful quote from Sean Penn about his reaction to Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life."

"I didn't at all find on the screen the emotion of the script, which is the most magnificent one that I've ever read. A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact. Frankly, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing there and what I was supposed to add in that context! What's more, Terry himself never managed to explain it to me clearly."

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Those of us who thought the movie terminally (and interminably) self-indulgent know exactly what Penn is talking about.

Those who think that Penn's words are merely an aggrieved actor's opinion of a work greater than himself -- click here for Brody's spirited defense of director Malick.

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For my own take on the movie, click here.


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