Matthew McConaughey reacts to his film getting booed at Cannes

17 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cannes 2015: McConaughey, Van Sant film greeted harshly.

Matthew McConaughey’s remarkable comeback streak in recent years — the so called “McConaissance” — hit a bump at the Cannes Film Festival premiere of Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees. 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. The high-stakes drama of love and loss, in competition for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, landed with a thud at its press previews, garnering the first big boos of this year’s edition.

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. As if expecting the issue to arise, the director, plus stars Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts, appeared somewhat subdued, McConaughey even putting up a rather defensive, unsmiling front to otherwise respectful questions. 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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