All the red carpet action at the Cannes Film Festival

17 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cannes 2015: Gus Van Sant not too fazed by harsh reviews on ‘The Sea of Trees’.

The Sea of Trees, Gus van Sant’s metaphysical tale set in Japan’s ‘suicide forest’, got a harsh reception from the critics at the Cannes Film Festival, but the Palme d’Or winner seemed unperturbed by the few boos that greeted his latest oeuvre after Friday’s press screening. The film, about two men (McConaughey, Ken Watanabe) who find each other in a Japanese “suicide forest,” was greeted harshly by critics and was loudly booed in its initial screenings to Cannes media. When the suicide drama was announced by director Gus Van Sant and star Matthew McConaughey at last year’s Cannes Festival, it was met with much excitement. But the same cannot be said for its advance press screening at this year’s Festival, where critics audibly booed at the end of the screening on Friday. “I’m happy to be here. McConaughey’s career has been flying high since he bagged an Academy Award last year for Dallas Buyers Club and critical adulation for his role in the gritty television series True Detective.

Academy Award winner McConaughey put on a relaxed face, too, telling a news conference ahead of Saturday’s public premiere: “Anyone has as much right to boo as they do to ovate.” Van Sant said: “I read one review this morning and it was very definitive. In the film, Arthur performs a Google search looking for “the perfect place to die” and ends up wandering through a dense forest near the foothills of Mount Fuji that attracts dozens of depressed people each year. Through conversations and flashbacks, the film shows Arthur’s downward spiral back in Massachusetts with an alcoholic wife (Watts) and a stalling academic career.

Plot twists that most viewers saw coming and a sentimental ending accompanied by swelling string music seemed to nix Van Sant’s shot at claiming a second Palme d’Or after his 2003 triumph with Elephant. I was imagining everyone was the same person as the one who wrote it and I was like now I know where we stand — it was kind of nice but then I got nervous later.” Films such as Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette were all famously booed during their initial screenings at Cannes.

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