Brad Pitt jumped at the opportunity on Tree of Life to take brooding lessons with Sean Penn


Brad Pitt jumped at the opportunity on Tree of Life to take brooding lessons with Sean Penn
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THE TREE OF LIFE

The Abridged Script

FADE IN

EXT. SOMEWHERE

A STRANGE LIGHT moves around space.

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

Look at this majestic light that in no way represents God. But it might. If you want it to.

INT. 1960S HOUSE

JESSICA CHASTAIN and BRAD PITT get informed of one of their son's death.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

(whispering)

This is very sad. I shall now cry to establish myself as the emotional mother.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

And I'll keep a stoic yet sad face to establish myself as the stern but loving father.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

(whispering)

How... PROFOUND.

ARTSY SHOT OF A TREE

TREE

(whispering)

I am a tree. OF LIFE.

EXT. CITY-PRESENT DAY

SEAN PENN looks around.

SEAN PENN

Apparently all I have to do in this role is just walk around, look sad, and whisper poetry. This is the easiest acting gig I've ever had!

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

Look miserable.

SEAN PENN frowns.

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

More miserable.

SEAN PENN frowns a little more.

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

Miserabler.

SEAN PENN's face drags along the floor.

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

Miserable enough.

SEAN PENN walks around the city aimlessly, with artsy shots of buildings.

SEAN PENN

(whispering)

My life feels purposeless. There is no point to life. I am sad. This is very artsy and in no way lesser than the quality of a student film with a budget.

EXT. SPACE

A bunch of famous space related images show up meant to represent the formation of the universe.

SEAN PENN (V.O)

(whispering)

Did you know. That if you whisper. And narrate poetry. In short fragments. It's PROFOUND?

JESSICA CHASTAIN (V.O.)

(whispering)

Yes. It's very PROFOUND. So PROFOUND. Like life. Life is PROFOUND. And majestic. So majestic. Like dew. Dew is. Majestic.

SEAN PENN (V.O.)

(whispering)

Almost like. It was made by a god. But only if. You want it. To be. That way.

EARTH is formed. For the next 20 minutes. Each shot of something happening lasts 30 seconds. This doesn't sound like much, BUT IT IS.

AUDIENCE

Did we just pay to see a million dollar Earth and Space video?

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

But it's art!

CGI DINOSAURS appear.

AUDIENCE

Well there goes your credibility.

A BIG CGI DINOSAUR comes up on a LITTLE CGI DINOSAUR, who is on the ground DYING.

BIG CGI DINOSAUR

Instead of killing you and eating you, which would of course put you out of your misery and feed me so that I may survive, I'm going to let you live so I can represent life's first sign of grace.

LITTLE CGI DINOSAUR

What the fuck does that matter?! I'll be dead in the next scene.

An ASTEROID appears. It destroys everything, but in an artsy shot.

EXT. 1950S TEXAS

HUNTER MCCRAKEN grows up in TEXAS.

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

Life in Texas as child is PROFOUND. Life is great.

A kid drowns.

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

But sometimes it's scary.

He plays baseball with his friends.

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

But sometimes beautiful. In a simple way. It is a vehicle for the senses. It displays the innocence and brilliance of youthful perception. A love letter to our well being.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

You're a pretentious little fuck, ya know?

Artsy shots of nature and HUNTER playing.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

Fucking hell, Terrence Malick uses dutch angles everywhere in this film and people eat it up, but they turn around and make fun of Battlefield Earth for the same reason.

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

But that film wasn't art.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

True, but the difference is one of them is so bad it's excruciatingly painful and strangely manages to have a blind following, which in turn makes you question the sanity of the director, and the other has John Travolta hamming it up.

INT. DINING ROOM

The FAMILY is eating dinner.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

I really do love this family. Everyone's gre-

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

You're a piece of shit. I fucking hate you.

BRAD PITT smacks HUNTER and sends him to time out, and shortly after kisses him on the head.

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

You're a shitty father. Fuck you. Mom's more PROFOUND than you.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

You're acting really spoiled. But I love you nonetheless.

EXT. 1950S TEXAS

BRAD PITT goes away on a PROFOUND business trip.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

Heeyyyyyy brotherrrr... What do you want to do?

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

Our asshole father is gone. We can finally have fun.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

If by fun you mean murdering small animals, performing property damage, and burglary? Not to mention shooting your brother? Then by all means.

HUNTER DOES ALL THESE THINGS.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

(whispering)

Hunter, you're becoming more like your father. I hate this. It's not PROFOUND or ARTSY. God forbid you actually do some growing up.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

But doesn't dad advocate manners and respect? And isn't he a god fearing man? So he's pretty much nothing like dad. In fact, he's a pretty psychotic kid. It worries me that he's obviously a stand in for Terrence Malick himself.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

(whispering)

No wonder Terrence Malick is a hermit.

Artsy shot of a LEAF.

LEAF

(whispering)

I am a leaf.

INT. 1950S HOUSE

BRAD PITT comes home.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

Hey kids. I'm back. Also it's been 2 and a half hours and barely anything has happened so I think we should just wrap this up and move out of this town.

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

I will like you more now. But only because it's convenient.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

Why leave now? Hunter hasn't grown up yet and learned to become an adult as is appropriate for coming of age stories. We've just wasted the time of everyone in the theater.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

Son, remember what I told you about a certain group of people I knew during the war that lost a certain part of their head?

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

Yes dad.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

Get in the car.

The family leaves. There is an artsy shot of the house as they leave.

HOUSE

(whispering)

I am a house.

INT. NOT HEAVEN

SEAN PENN meets up with BRAD PITT, JESSICA CHASTAIN, and HUNTER MCCRAKEN.

SEAN PENN

(whispering)

And now for the part where we try to give the idea that there's an afterlife to emotionally calm the more spiritual people in the audience. But only if they want to. Kind of.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

Although this doesn't make sense because you're here and Hunter is here. So I'm going to guess heaven allows people with multiple personalities into heaven. After all, you are pretty much a sociopath.

SEAN PENN

(whispering)

You know what else doesn't make sense? The fact this abridged script has more lines of dialogue than the entire movie. Hell the choir in the score had more to say then all our lines combined.

HUNTER MCCRAKEN

(whispering)

Also, nothing was really established. No one really changed. We grew up, and left the house. Nothing happened.

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

I die, but we don't really go over that other than the fact that Sean Penn and Brad Pitt are really upset about it years later but then they're all right at the end for no reason other than seeing me in NOT HEAVEN.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

(whispering)

But life. PROFOUND.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

Yeah we got that, but we didn't need it told to us for over 2 and a half hours. Also, profound means that it's either intellectual or difficult to understand. It's not intellectual because this movie has the depth of a kiddie pool, and the only reason it's difficult to understand is because it's very possible the script for this movie could have been assembled from someone with severe autism. This movie was ultimately kind of pointless.

SEAN PENN

(whispering)

But when you think about it, so is life in a way.

BRAD PITT

(whispering)

I get it now! Terrence Malick wanted to waste our time so we knew that life is exactly that but with hopefully a heaven. But only if you want one. Kind of.

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

You get it guys! By the way, did I tell you that there was a six hour cut of this movie?

HUNTER'S BROTHER

(whispering)

Yeah, fuck off. Nobody wants to watch Hunter be a little bitch for that long. The only extended cut you need to work on is the one for The Thin Red Line.

DIRECTOR TERRENCE MALICK

(whimpering)

I guess I'll go into hiding again now... See you guys... in 15 years.

Artsy shot of BRAD PITT.

BRAD PITT

I am a Brad Pitt.

END

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