Parents' Guide to

The Wishing Tree (2020)

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Woman seeks wisdom in a forest; language, mature themes.

Movie NR 2020 85 minutes
The Wishing Tree (2020) Poster Image

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Earnestly shot and performed, this indie drama has plenty of gentle acoustic guitar that accompanies montages and scene transitions. But while The Wishing Tree (2020) strives for a quietly powerful introspective journey of a woman's idea of who she should be, a few issues keep this story from feeling important or relevant. Unfortunately, conventional writing ("Why would you infect me with your doubt?" "I want to feel something... else"), cringe-y decisions (the sex scene, the ending), and unexplained ambiguities (the woman at the end, the wishing tree) all make for an at times laborious watch.

The film launches right into Julia's pain and suffering well before there's any time to get to know her, who she is, and why the audience should care about her. Outside of knowing that she desperately wants to conceive a child, that she hasn't been able to yet, and that she and her partner have broken up over years of child conceiving failure, the viewer knows nothing about Julia. And it's never revealed why Julia (and her partner) never considered adoption or other alternative means to family making before they separated. Lastly, some might view this story as very "White people problems," as it's yet another indie drama about White people who invariably for some such reason end up trekking through a forest to "find themselves" after adulthood didn't turn out like how they imagined it would when they were younger.

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