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The Tree is a French-Australian 2010 film co-produced between Australia and France. It was filmed in the small town of Boonah[2] in Queensland, Australia and follows the lives of Dawn (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her four children after the unexpected death of her husband Peter (Aden Young). The film is an adaptation of the debut novel Our Father Who Art in the Tree by Australian writer and performer Judy Pascoe. The film closed the Cannes Film Festival[3] on 23 May 2010 following the Awards Ceremony and received a seven-minute standing ovation.[4] In addition, The Tree premiered at the 2010 Sydney Film Festival.[5] The film is distributed in the US by Zeitgeist Films, opening on 15 July 2011 in New York, on 22 July in Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C., and throughout the country over the summer.

The Tree
The tree poster.jpg
Film Poster
Directed byJulie Bertuccelli
Produced by
Written byJulie Bertuccelli
Screenplay byElizabeth J. Mars
Based onOur Father Who Art in the Tree
by Judy Pascoe
Music byGrégoire Hetzel
CinematographyNigel Bluck
Edited byFrançois Gédigier
Distributed by
Release date
  • 23 May 2010 (2010-05-23) (Cannes)
  • 11 August 2010 (2010-08-11) (France)
  • 30 September 2010 (2010-09-30) (Australia)
Running time
100 minutes
  • Australia
  • France
Box office$2,219,182[1]


Dawn and Peter O'Neil live together with their children (three boys and a girl), on the outskirts of a small country town. Next to their rambling house stands the kids' favourite playground: a giant Moreton Bay Fig tree (now known in real-life as the Teviotville Tree), whose branches reach high towards the sky and roots stretch far into the ground.

Everything seems perfect until Peter suffers a heart attack, crashing his car into the tree's trunk. Dawn is devastated, left alone with her grief and four children to raise. Until one day, 8-year-old Simone, reveals a secret to her mother. She's convinced her father whispers to her through the leaves of the tree and he's come back to protect them. Dawn takes comfort from Simone's imagination, and starts to believe in it herself; just like Simone, Dawn also likes to spend time in the tree. It starts to dominate their physical and emotional landscape. But the close bond between mother and Simone forged through a mutual sorrow and shared secret, is threatened by the arrival of George, the plumber, called in to remove the tree's troublesome roots. As the relationship between Dawn and George blossoms, the tree continues to grow, with its branches infiltrating the house, its roots destroy the foundations. Dawn decides the tree has to go. George and some other workmen arrive, but Simone climbs in the tree to defend it. Dawn and George try to convince her, but she refuses to come down. George argues to Dawn that the girl is only 8 years old, Dawn should not allow her to stop the necessary removal of the tree. This irritates Dawn, and she cancels the operation, and tells George she does not want to see him again.

In a big storm the house is demolished by the tree, and the family leaves the area, planning to start living somewhere else, perhaps in a tent.



The Tree was written and directed by Julie Bertuccelli, it is based on the screenplay by Elizabeth J Mars, produced by Sue Taylor of Taylor Media, Yael Fogiel and Laetitia Gonzalez of Les Films du Poisson, and is a co-production between Australia and France.[6] It came to be a co-production when Julie Bertuccelli was given the book Our Father Who Art in the Tree[7] by a close friend. When she looked into getting the rights for the film she found that Australian producer Sue Taylor already had them, however she did not have a director. It just so happened that Julie is a director, and from there the co-production was born. The tree used in the film is Teviotville Tree, located in the small town of Teviotville in the state of Queensland. It has a 34 m spread, 20 m height and 2.31 m diameter at 1 m above ground, which is the narrowest point. The tree has low branches which have not been pruned off, and when they are laden with fruit they reach the ground. It is very rare to find this in a Moreton Bay Fig tree. It is estimated that it was planted in 1880.[8]


Original film music was written and composed by Grégoire Hetzel. The soundtrack features other songs of the film:[9]

  1. "Weak" – Asaf Avidan & The Mojos (3:34)
  2. "Wake" – Grégoire Hetzel (2:58)
  3. "The Tree" – Main Theme – Grégoire Hetzel (3:55)
  4. Chorus of "Die Kriegsknechte aber" from "The Passion according to St. John" – Scholars Baroque Ensemble (1:26)
  5. "Flying Foxes" – The Slippers (2:47)
  6. "Speak to Me" – Grégoire Hetzel (2:55)
  7. "Simone's Theme" – Grégoire Hetzel (3:18)
  8. "The Roots" – Grégoire Hetzel (3:27)
  9. "Shiver Shiver" – The Slippers (3:48)
  10. "Under the Branches" – Grégoire Hetzel (3:55)
  11. "Wounded Tree" – Grégoire Hetzel (3:13)
  12. "To Build a Home" – The Cinematic Orchestra (6:12)
  13. "Daydream" (Extra Track) – Grégoire Hetzel (8:45)


  1. ^ Box Office Mojo The Tree. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  2. ^ Australian Associated Press (19 August 2009). "Charlotte Gainsbourg to film in south Qld". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 23 May 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ Festival de Cannes 2010 (2010). "The Tree by Julie Bertuccelli: closing film of the 63rd Festival de Cannes". Publicis Modem agency. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  4. ^ Carnival Askew (25 May 2010). "THE TREE RECEIVES A SEVEN MINUTE STANDING OVATION AT THE CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL". Retrieved 6 September 2010.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Alice: The Plot Thickens (24 June 2010). "Sydney Film Festival: The Tree".
  6. ^ The Tree Film Official Website (2010). "How it all Started". Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  7. ^ Judy Pascoe Homepage (2010). "Judy Pascoe Homepage".
  8. ^ Boonah Ficus Tree – Movie The Tree 2010. 2010.
  9. ^ "Official Soundtrack: The Tree – L'Arbre (2010), Grégoire Hetzel (CD)". 2010.

External linksEdit