Synopsis

A family struggling with the loss of a loved one may have found him in a rather unusual place in this drama from writer and director Julie Bertuccelli. Dawn (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is a stay-at-home mother to her four children -- Tim (Christian Byers), Lou (Tom Russell), Simone (Morgana Davies), and Charlie (Gabriel Gotting) -- and a loving wife to her husband, Peter (Aden Young). Peter is out of town on business when he suffers a fatal heart attack; Dawn is emotionally shattered by the news, and isn't sure at first how to get by on her own. The children are supportive to their mom, Tim gets a part-time job to help bring in some extra cash, and Dawn begins working at a plumbing supply store run by kind-hearted George (Marton Csokas), but while they're all trying to move on, they still wish they could have Peter back in their lives. Simone, who is eight, has taken to climbing the big tree in front of the family's house, and she soon explains why to Dawn -- she says she can hear the voice of her father rustling through the leaves. Before long, Simone builds a tree house and spends most of her time listening to her father's phantom voice, and while Dawn understands how she feels, she's not sure how to get her daughter to let go of her father's ghost, especially when Simone reacts poorly to the news that Dawn and George are dating. The Tree was adapted from the novel Our Father Who Art in the Tree by Judy Pascoe. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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