Director Terrence Malick’s first blockbuster hit was Days of Heaven in 1978, but his ethereally named 2011 film Tree of Life had a far more literal depiction of the afterlife. For the first two hours, the Best Picture nominee wanders through time and space, portraying a colorful, awe-inspiring vision of the creation of the universe, from the Big Bang to human evolution, calling attention to our fleeting presence on Earth. But all science is abandoned in the film’s final minutes, when Malick brings us into the afterlife. And in a film rife with depth and pensiveness, Malick’s vision of heaven is about as cliché as they come. The film’s protagonist finds himself on a brightly-lit, expansive beach, reunited with everyone from his past. The characters are angelic, clad in white robes and offering overwhelming acceptance for each other. It’s a cathartic ending to a weighty film that, in the end, smooths over the disappointments of life. Isn’t that how we all wish we could rest for eternity?