The Tree
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Blindsided with anguish after her husband's sudden death, Dawn (Gainsbourg)-along with her four young children-struggles to make sense of life without him. Eight-year-old Simone (unforgettable newcomer Morgana Davies) becomes convinced that her father is whispering to her through the leaves of the gargantuan fig tree that towers over their house. The family is initially comforted by its presence, but then the tree's enormous roots slowly begin to encroach on the abode and threaten their fragile existence.... -- (C) Zeitgeist Films

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's well worth seeing the performance of young Morgana Davies as Simone, a child who becomes convinced that her late father speaks and listens to her through the comforting branches of the tree next to her house."
‑ Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter
"Despite the potential for some supernatural grandiosity, the tone here remains understated and quiet, and Gainsbourg's performance feels lived-in, and deep, and right."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"[The Tree is] one of the most personally striking films of the year."
‑ Glenn Dunks, Onya Magazine
"A wonderfully embraceable little film, one that is at turns honeysuckle-sweet, cherry blossom-delicate, and as comforting as the shade of a City Park oak."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Despite its eccentric, boldly obvious central metaphor, the film feels bland and oddly inconsequential."
‑ Jon Frosch, The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
"In the end, The Tree is something of a stretch; but it's a good stretch, a mix of mysticism and family dynamics both satisfying and intriguing."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"The arboreal metaphor is overworked as the tree's roots choke off the rural home's water supply, but the story has a winning, fable-like directness."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[It] would be much easier to write off as silly and self-serious, if it weren't so involving."
‑ Laura Kern, Film Comment Magazine
"It's a quiet film and a quietly moving one."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"t may sound like a Stephen King horror yarn but The Tree's a meandering, mystical tale of dealing with a tragic loss."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
""The Tree" might have suffered from too much symbolism if not for writer-director Julie Bertuccelli's deft touch and Gainsbourg's appealing performance."
‑ Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Beautifully filmed in the harsh, dry landscape, "The Tree" is often mesmerizing..."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Pacing problems and shallow psychological inquiries plague this film almost as much as the overworked metaphor that supplies the film's title."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"The destructive nature of the family's inability to move on from the past starts being heavily telegraphed by characters having heart-to-hearts with the tree's branches, or those same branches invading the house in calamitous ways."
‑ Alistair Harkness, Scotsman
"The symbolism is both crude and vague, the atmosphere dreary, and not before time there comes a tornado to solve everyone's problems."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
More reviews for The Tree on Rotten Tomatoes