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Even Sean Penn didn’t get “Tree of Life”

Even Sean Penn didn’t get “Tree of Life” (photo)

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After leaving “Tree of Life,” did you find yourself confused and somewhat let down by Terrence Malick’s latest film? Were you too embarrassed to tell your snobby cinephile friends, “Yes, of course it looks beautiful, but what the hell is the point of it all?” Well, breathe easy, friends, because you’re not alone, as even Sean Penn was disappointed by the version of the film that made it to the big screen.

Penn, who played the present-day version of one of the young boys you spent hours watching play with one another and hate their father, recently spoke to the French magazine Le Figaro and was remarkably candid about his feelings toward “Tree of Life.” Fortunately for the non-Francophone hoi polloi such as ourselves, The New Yorker was kind enough to provide a translation of the interesting bits.

After describing the script for “Tree of Life” as “the most magnificent one that I’ve ever read,” Penn went on to explain that not only did he not know what he was supposed to be doing in his scenes, but that Malick never even clearly explained it to the actor.

Most interestingly, however, the actor asserted that “A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact.” Apparently we weren’t the only ones who remain unimpressed by hours of nature documentary footage, breathy narration, a trite message about the massive scope of creation and lousy CGI dinosaurs.

What do you think of Sean Penn’s assessment of “Tree of Life”? Is it fair or did he, like us, completely miss the point of Malick’s genius? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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