Brad Pitt will box your child

Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life plays Cannes in just a few days, and opens in limited release in the US May 27th. Although I was already sold when I found out there’d be velociraptors in it, the studio still saw fit to release this latest clip, which you can watch below. In this scene, Brad Pitt’s character teaches his son to box, which he of course learned to do while researching his award-winning roles in Snatch, Fight Club, Meet Joe Black, and The Pacifier.  Try as Brad might to toughen the kid up, he still grows up to be Sean Penn.

Sporting an all-star cast featuring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, Tree of Life tells the story of a child growing up in the 1950’s with parents practicing wildly divergent personalities and methods.

In this exclusive clip, Pitt, the father, teaches his son Jack — who will grow up into Penn’s character — to fight and defend himself. The aggression straddles the border between caring and reckless, with Pitt’s determination and clenched jaw leaving the viewer questioning whether he’s nurturing or something darker. [HuffPo]

Everyone’s calling Pitt’s character a “macho assh*le” or “borderline abusive,” which seems unfair. He’s teaching the kid to box. At least he dusted him off after smacking him around. Even Freddie Roach will call you a “fagg*t” if you drop your strong hand while throwing a hook. I’ve seen him do it. What I take from this is that everyone in the fifties was either named Jack or Mary, or Carlos if you were Mexican, which you didn’t admit, and if you were a boy, your choice of sport was limited to football or boxing, and if you didn’t play they’d cart you off to the psychiatrist, who’d jab a big needle into your brain to see if he could stab out the gay.