Tree of Life

Release date: 8 July 2011

Running time: 139 mins

Certificate: 12A

Terrence Malick

Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain

Both intimate and epic, critically acclaimed Terrence Malick's impressionistic hymn to life begins in the 1950s and centres on the O'Brien family from the US Midwest.

It follows the journey of Jack from childhood innocence to disillusioned adulthood as he tries to reconcile a difficult and complicated relationship with his father. Played as an adult by Sean Penn, Jack finds himself spiritually adrift in the modern world.

As he seeks answers to big questions about the origin and meaning of life, and struggles with the nature of faith, Malick takes us on an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic cosmic trip towards the infinite reaches of space and time.

Along the way, he explores how brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only individuals and families, but all life.

Screenplay: Terrence Malick

You should see it because: Unprolific Terrence Malick is one of cinema's great visionaries and this very personal work was a well-deserved winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

See it if you liked: The New World (2005), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Hereafter (2011)