‘Sea of Trees’ Trailer: Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe Meet in a Suicide Forest

     February 19, 2016


A Japanese trailer for director Gus Van Sant’s drama The Sea of Trees has landed online, giving us our first look at the Matthew McConaughey-led film. This was one of the first projects the actor signed onto after winning the Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, shooting this drama directly after he completed work on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. As such, while it’s been a while since it was shot (Summer 2014, to be exact), The Sea of Trees is still technically part of the “McConaissance.”

The story follows an American man who travels to Japan to go to the Aokigahara Forest, one of the most notorious suicide destinations. There, he comes across a Japanese man intent on ending his life (played by Ken Watanabe), and the two strike up a connection as they discuss their lives and their decision to end it all. This trailer is a bit odd, as the tone feels a little all over the place. It’s tough to figure out if that’s simply because the trailer was crafted specifically for an international market, or if this is an accurate encapsulation of what Van Sant put together.

So why the delay? Well the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year to some incredibly harsh reviews, and thus far has no U.S. release date. It is poised to open in Japan soon, which is why we have this first-look trailer. But despite the chilly response, the McConaissance is still going strong. The actor has the Civil War-set drama The Free State of Jones opening this May, voice roles in a pair of animated films—Kubo and the Two Strings and Sing—and a villainous role in the long-developing The Dark Tower.

For now, check out the Japanese Sea of Trees trailer below.


Image via Lionsgate

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