New York Film Festival committee member, ex-Variety employee and current Indiewire reviewer/blogger Todd McCarthy just published a post updating us in his adventures with the NYFF. One of the films that was rumored to be ready for the fest was the much-anticipated The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick and starring Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. It missed the fest deadline and now we can only hope for a release date this year. McCarthy said that will not be the case. Check out his statement below.

In this department, the gorilla in the room was Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” As late as early May, the reclusive auteur’s incipient effort was still awaited as a possible last-minute entry at Cannes. After its non-appearance there, it was considered a sure thing for the Venice-Toronto-New York circuit. We got excited when we learned it wouldn’t make those first two fall-season festivals but would almost certainly be ready for us in New York, which allowed us to dare to dream of the most brilliant closing night attraction ever.

All through our recent two weeks in the dark, we received periodic updates and tentative promises about the imminent arrival of the film for us to view; even well into the second week we were still being thus tantalized. Finally, of course, came word that Malick was still not done and it now seems clear the picture will not be opening this year. I can’t prove it, of course, and he’s supposedly set to start shooting a new film in Oklahoma in October, but I’m convinced we won’t be seeing “The Tree of Life” until, at the earliest, the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Or perhaps it could turn up at the New York Film Festival a year from now.

I sincerely hope this isn’t the case but I would rather wait even longer for a what could be a masterpiece than rush it early. IMDb currently lists a November 2010 theatrical release and Jan. 28th, 2011 release in the UK but those of course are subject to change, especially with this recent news.

Are you ready to wait longer for Tree of Life?

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