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Revealed! Brad Pitt Plays A Physically Abusive Father in His New Film 'The Tree of Life.' Exclusive Details!

Wed, December 22, 2010 9:52am EDT by Andy Swift 5 Comments

Fist fights with his terrorized sons, demands for military-style allegiance and more– That’s what Brad must do in his new role as a father who is the opposite of the real Dad Pitt. got a hold of the script for Brad Pitt‘s upcoming drama The Tree Of Life, and while we’re totally shocked by Brad’s dark character, we can think of a few people who will be nothing short of disturbed his performance: Angelina Jolie and their six children! Known by the world as one of Hollywood’s best dads, the 47-year-old plays a terrifying and abusive father, eerily-named “Mr. O’Brien.”

Here’s the basic plot:

Brad plays a stern, emotionally-distant father of two boys in a small Midwestern town in the 1950s. Sean Penn plays Brad’s present-day grown son, Jack O’ Brien, struggling with his own search for the meaning of life while also dealing with his resentment towards his father. Jack’s struggles are played out through a series of bizarre flashbacks to his childhood. It’s through Jack’s recounting of his father’s biting words and demands for total allegiance that Jack comes to terms with his hatred for his father, eventually realizing it was the only way his father knew how to show love for his children. The story circles back in the end to Jack as a young boy at his childhood home, embarking on the journey that will be his life.

And here are the REALLY juicy parts:

  1. Brad toughens his sons up by having fist fights with them, yelling at Jack to hit him harder and punch him in the face.
  2. Brad forces his sons to call him “Sir” and requires Jack to act as an adult in his presence.
  3. The boys come to associate their father with terror and cower in his presence.
  4. There are tons of “WTF” moments: Lots of displaced and confusing shots of the moon and the great empty expanses of outer space as well as the vast murky darkness of the deepest parts of the ocean.

The bottom line:

As Mr. O’Brien, Brad will undoubtedly give the audience a dark look at a man whose own problems devastate the lives of those closest to him. However, all the existential content weighs down the flick to the point of confusion. In fact, this line from a recent review of the movie sums it up best: “This film should come with a warning: Must Be Under the Influence of Controlled Substances in Order to Understand.”

Here’s the full trailer for The Tree of Life:

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— Amy Webber, reporting by Nicole Fukuoka