The Tree - review

Julie Bertuccelli's film is an outrageously twee, spiritual and supercilious drama, set in Australia, about family and grief

  1. The Tree
  2. Production year: 2010
  3. Countries: Australia, France, Rest of the world
  4. Cert (UK): 12A
  5. Runtime: 100 mins
  6. Directors: Julie Bertucelli
  7. Cast: Aden Young, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Christian Byers, Gabriel Gotting, Marton Csokas, Morgana Davies, Tom Russell
  8. More on this film

Some critics, with a droll nod to Terrence Malick, have nicknamed this "The Tree of Death". It is from Julie Bertuccelli, the former documentary-maker whose fiction feature debut Since Otar Left, in 2003, was a triple-deckered study of three generations of women. This is her first film since then and it is an outrageously twee, spiritual and supercilious drama, set in Australia, about family and grief. Charlotte Gainsbourg plays Dawn, a woman who lives with her husband and children in remote Queensland. When her man dies of a heart attack, driving his car into a big tree on their property, their youngest daughter takes it into her head that his spirit has gone to live in this tree. Dawn finds herself believing it too. As the tree threatens to damage the house with its gnarly roots, the question appears to be: is the "tree" spirit a therapeutic fiction that will help the family to move on – or a dangerous and morbid obsession? The imagery is almost unendurably self-conscious, and Gainsbourg, with her low, musical, murmuring voice, gives the kind of performance you suspect she can do standing on her head. Her final lines are irritating beyond belief.

droll: zabawny

gnarly: sękaty; węzłowaty; zawiły

morbid: chory, chorobliwy

murmuring: mamroczący

nickname: przezywać, nadawać przezwisko

supercilious: wyniosły

triple-deckered: trzywarstwowy, trzypiętrowy

twee: sentymentalny

unendurably: nieznośnie

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