Very rare does a film come along that I don't think has the potential to keep everyone interested. It can either succeed or fail in that goal depending on your particular preferences, but it at least has the potential. I can see why many people would not be a fan of this film. For instance, despite the fact it's a little over 2 hours in running time, there's very little dialogue. The words are unsaid and carried by expressions.
The film follows a couple from the 1950s, but its so much more. The biblical quote at the beginning of the film as well as the mother's opening narration are the main objectives of the film. From there, it goes through the evolution of our universe and world. Many reviewers have criticized the film as being a poor attempt to put Kodak pictures in a movie. I see it otherwise. The filming is so clean and beautiful. Nature's beauty (or at least through the director's view of nature through our evolution) is so peaceful. It almost put me to sleep twice, not by boredom, but by the easy feeling it conveys towards my emotions.
So what about grace and nature? Do you live by grace or nature? In this film, the lines are clearly drawn. Mr. O'Brien (Pitt) certainly lives by nature. Things are going very well for him business wise. He's not a rich man make no mistake, but he does enjoy a good life. He has three sons (two of which die) and of course a wife. His son Jack can't stand him and neither can his wife. Eventually, the rug gets pulled out from underneath his feet. Nature eats him up and spits him right out (like the Dinosoars in the beginning of the film).
His wife lives by grace. She's never not happy unless one of her sons are being abused. The whole essence of the film is the contrast between these two. The son hates his father but is more like him than you think.
Last, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the memories. When I have a memory I see it from a wide view. It's never just like it happened--I'm always in it where I can see myself visually. I'm sure I'm missing a bunch. The film was enjoyable to me, but not to most of the population I am sure.
Great film: B
Enjoyable Film: C+