It’s been a long, winding road for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. In September, we reported that Fox Searchlight had picked up the film and planned to release it sometime in 2011. Now, Box Office Mojo is reporting that the studio has set the curious date of May 27, 2011 for the film’s release. I say “curious”, because it was presumed that Fox Searchlight would make an Oscar run with the movie and release it theatrically in the fall while showing it off at the major festivals throughout the year. It’s odd to put the movie in the middle of blockbuster season when you consider that Malick’s work tends to be slow and meditative. Then you have the plot, which is about “an impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s chronicling the journey of the eldest son, Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn), through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years – trying to reconcile the complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt).” There usually aren’t too many “impressionistic” movies in the summer. However, Tree of Life does reportedly have dinosaurs. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio eventually moves the film into the fall season.
Where it stands now, however, The Tree of Life will be squaring off that weekend against The Hangover 2 and Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom. That’s an eclectic weekend at the theater.