Not without controversy, the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year was awarded to The Tree of Life, the fifth film in nearly forty years by American director Terrence Malick. As the title suggests, The Tree of Life attempts to relate our cosmic origins, the mundane and sometimes tragic occurrences of our lives, and aspects of our emotional and spiritual selves like love, redemption, and forgiveness. Without too much spoiler, the anniversary of a tragedy necessitates a phone call between father and son. Most of the film is spent on a journey through the son’s memories and thoughts on existential questions that are ultimately raised when one recalls an event of this enormity, as if the viewer were privy to the flashbacks and mental images behind the closed eyelids of a person deep in recollection. As such, The Tree of Life is impressionistic and not strictly temporally ordered, which may alienate filmgoers – it continues to polarize critics after Cannes.