When I say daring, I mean that you will either find it fascinating or very, very dull. There does not seem to be much middle ground here. The film begins with a biblical allusion to Job and depicts a flickering golden light. Over these images are whispered words urging the listener to follow either grace or nature in life.
Then, both Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien (Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt) find out separately that one of the sons has died, and the reason is not explained. In the present, one of their sons (Sean Penn) who is now an architect contemplates his life while trying to get through his day. Then, we witness the breathtaking formation of creation, with the creation of the planets, sea, and life itself.
The closest movie that I can think of with the same thought-provoking intentions as The Tree of Life is probably 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, I think I surprisingly appreciated Tree of Life a little more, because it focused more on the human aspect instead of the fact that humans are insignificant and primitive in the realm of outer space. Furthermore, the ending of this film somehow seemed reminiscent of La Dolce Vita, since both had rather cryptic conclusions taking place on expansive beaches.