The Tree

August 11th, 2010


The Tree

No valid json found

Still of Morgana Davies in The TreeStill of Charlotte Gainsbourg in The TreeStill of Charlotte Gainsbourg and Morgana Davies in The TreeStill of Charlotte Gainsbourg in The Tree

The O'Neills lived happily in their house in the Australian countryside. That was until one day fate struck blindly...

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6.5/10 (1,926 voted)

Critic's Score: 59/100

Director: Julie Bertuccelli

Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Morgana Davies, Marton Csokas

The O'Neills lived happily in their house in the Australian countryside. That was until one day fate struck blindly, taking the life of Peter, the father, leaving his grief-stricken wife Dawn alone with their four children. Among them, eight-year-old Simone denies this reality. She is persuaded that her father still lives in the giant fig tree growing near their house and speaks to her through its leaves. But the tree becomes more and more invasive and threatens the house. It must be felled. Of course, Simone won't allow...

Writers: Judy Pascoe, Julie Bertuccelli

Charlotte Gainsbourg - Dawn O'Neil
Morgana Davies - Simone O'Neil
Marton Csokas - George Elrick
Christian Byers - Tim O'Neil
Tom Russell - Lou O'Neil
Gabriel Gotting - Charlie O'Neil
Aden Young - Peter O'Neil
Penne Hackforth-Jones - Mrs. Johnson
Gillian Jones - Vonnie
Zoe Boe - Megan Lu
Bob MacKay - Ab
Ryan Potter - Tree Lopper
Murray Shoring - Council inspector
Taren Stewart - Lou's friend
Robert Joseph Stewart - Lou's friend

Taglines: Life is a force of nature


Official Website: Official Blog | Official Facebook |

Release Date: 11 August 2010

Filming Locations: Boonah, Queensland, Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: €7,740,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $993,338 (France) (15 August 2010) (221 Screens)

Gross: $2,378,574 (Worldwide) (15 January 2012)

Technical Specs

Runtime: France:

Did You Know?

About two hundred little girls were auditioned for Simone's role and a thousand fig trees were visited before the perfect one was found.

User Review

Beautiful tale of family and life

Rating: 8/10

After the sudden death of her husband, his wife and four children try to get on with life in the bush of Northern Australia. It could be a story overwhelmed by emotion, but yet it play the emotionally side with more subtlety. The family live in an old house with an enormous Morton Bay fig next to it and it's this tree that firstly with the young daughter and then with other family members where they gain the idea that somehow the spirit of their loved one is inside. The film follows the family as they move on, but without forgetting the tree and protecting it at all costs.

Thought the film has a potentially supernatural idea, it doesn't play out that way, in fact it's quite the opposite. The notion that the tree contains the spirit is quite charming and leads to some wonderful encounters for various members of the family. Grief is dealt with in many ways and for these people this is how they deal with it. The cast is very fine: Charlotte Gainsbourg is very good as the mother, she is charismatic and a joy to watch. As is the daughter Simone, played wonderfully by a superb young actor, she really is something, creating a funny, touching and realistic portrayal of a young girl who is dealing with the loss of her Dad. But all the cast is fine creating a truly real feeling to events that occur.

The film also works for it's use of nature. Australian films set outside the city are known for their great use of the landscape and this is no exception. Stunning landscapes and skyscapes fill the screen and there are other wonderful moments including natures creations, such as the fruit bat that flies into the kitchen or the frogs in the toilet and the families attempts to get rid of them. And let's not forget the tree. It is a huge presence in the film, literally and metaphorically and could in it's own way be a character, it is a imposing, glorious and wonderful creation and of course paramount to the story.

The film ends with a bang, but a positive one, a situation that leaves the family or gives the family a chance to move on, it is almost a relief and at the same time quite touching. The film as a whole is a highly enjoyable one, and that doesn't tug on the heart strings with it's story, instead presenting itself with humour, charm and beauty.

Find more of my reviews at my site


Comments are closed.