A curious thing has happened to Brad Pitt: the older he gets, the better his performances. Case in point is his role as the Father in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.
The part is in essence a simple one, and that is to portray the domineering, survival of the fittest philosophy of nature in the lives of a young family during 1950s Texas. Yet like all things Malick nothing is straightforward, and so it goes with Pitt’s portrayal of this authoritative presence whose iron fisted rule is countered by an undying love for his family.
Pitt plays the anger, wisdom and bitterness that this man conveys with a naturality and soulfulness that has become a big part of his repertoire of late. Pitt is at the peak of his talents in his career, and he has channelled those talents into an amazing performance.