Cloud Atlas (2012) vs. The Tree of Life (2011)
We at the Smack like a sprawling, epic movie about Big Themes as much as anyone else. So in this edition weâ€™re throwing two big, brainy behemoths against each other in a ring-shaking Sumo contest.
In the challengerâ€™s corner, weighing in at a few thousand pounds and nearly three hours in length, is a film so big it needed three credited directors: Cloud Atlas, essentially six movies in one, covering a range of genres, time periods and motifs. Our reigning champ is The Tree of Life, a thick, mood piece by Terrence Malick about a middle-aged manâ€™s reflections on his upbringing and relationship with a tough, unhappy father. And, oh yeah, the origins of life and nature while weâ€™re at it. […]