For how long will you be gone? For two days, two weeks, two years… Nevertheless, it was meant to be two days, it turned out to be forever. A sudden loss, a heart breaking presence of absence. In these circumstances people are ready to believe everything that is capable of relieving the pain even for a little bit. They will see the absent one everywhere, they will talk to him, they will pretend they hear him answering through the cracklings of an old tree.
The tree, which grows at the very heart of the picturesque landscapes of Australia, by a family home becomes a synonym for the absence. It becomes a medium for the family to talk with their departed dad/husband And it becomes a reminder of a very painful memory, not allowing to move on.
Julie Bertucelli’s film The Tree is a very emotional film about coping with sudden loss and moving on afterwards. A family, trying to put itself together, to make it work again. And it is a very feminine film. Without artificial beauty, and superficial feelings pretending to be true.
Charlotte Gainsbourg proves once again that she is a wonderful actress, who is capable of not only playing the emotions, but incarnate them. Seems like she’s not acting, she’s really becoming the personality in who’s skin she puts herself for the shooting time. The role of Dawn is, no doubt, a very complicated work to do. She’s like an ode, to how fragile a woman can become after a sudden loss. But the worst thing is that Dawn can’t afford to be fragile; she’s a mother – who is unconditionally expected to be strong and cool-minded. Her fragility, without a pretension of being strong is the most touching quality of the film.
Bertucelli focuses on showing the feelings and experiences of each of the characters. Even though sometimes it is not obvious, and it takes time to understand that simple actions are surprisingly capable of revealing such profound emotions. Plus, the ensemble of the fantastic photographical shots serve as a precise and impeccable illustration to the story told. The soft and milky sunlight, panoramic takes of australian nature richness and the exact shots of leading characters really hit the target.