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Film starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe booed at Cannes

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Cannes, bunch of fickle wanna be nots, we'll judge for ourselves and see.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Free publicity!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Booed at Cannes???? Oh, then I definitely want to see it!!!!!!

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Sounds like the Japanese version by Tomoyuki Takimoto, 2005, "Jyukai: The Sea of Trees Behind Mt. Fuji" is a better choice. It has some good acting, and was filmed partly in the forest. (There is a version subtitled in English, but probably not easy to find... the dialog is not that difficult though, so just watch it in Japanese! Unusual Ry Cooder-style soundtrack.) <http://asianwiki.com/Jyukai:_The_Sea_of_Trees_Behind_Mt._Fuji

10 ( +10 / -0 )

“Interstellar was an exploration out there. This was an exploration in here,” said McConaughey, pointing at his chest.

"This was exploration over there", said the critic, pointing at his rubbish bin.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Earlier link to the original Japanese version of 'Sea of Trees' doesn't work, so here is the address again, not in the link: http://asianwiki.com/Jyukai:_The_Sea_of_Trees_Behind_Mt._Fuji (Japanese title is樹の海)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Q: What did Matthew McConaughey say when his movie was booed at Cannes?

A: "Alright, alright, alright."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“The Sea of Trees,” which was picked up for U.S. distribution by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions ahead of the festival, is about a man who wrestles with guilt over a bitter marriage (Naomi Watts plays his wife) and travels to Japan to kill himself.

This sounds completely idiotic. He can kill himself at his home country.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

This sounds completely idiotic. He can kill himself at his home country.

I don't know the specifics of the movie, but it's likely that they are referring to 青木ヶ原 (Aokigahara) AKA 樹海 (jukai) - the sea of trees. I'm guessing this is where the name of the movie comes from. It's a forest on the North Western side of Mt. Fuji where people regularly commit suicide. As such, it could be a destination for someone considering ending their life.

More on Aokigahara: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%9D%92%E6%9C%A8%E3%83%B6%E5%8E%9F

2 ( +6 / -4 )

“Anyone has as much right to boo as they do to ovate,” McConaughey told reporters Saturday.

Why would anyone go egg-shaped just because they didn't like a film?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As a verb it means to applaud. Standing ovation, ne?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't know the specifics of the movie, but it's likely that they are referring to 青木ヶ原 (Aokigahara) AKA 樹海 (jukai) - the sea of trees.

I know it, but this doesn't make less stupid that one American man needs to fly to Japan to kill himself. Indeed, one of the negative comments made about this movie is that they tried to exploit the sad popularity of that place.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Alex80: "Indeed, one of the negative comments made about this movie is that they tried to exploit the sad popularity of that place."

If it were a Japanese director who had done it you'd be calling it genius. That's all there is to it. People here will praise the fact that Watanabe Ken is in the movie because he's in the movie, regardless of performance, but they'll lament that one of the nastier facets of Japanese society is being shown to the world will automatically meet with criticism solely because it is not something to be proud of. You said yourself it is 'popular', did you not? So perhaps the movie will bring to the world's attention that such popular places for suicides, as with to Tojimbo cliffs, is a major problem that should be addressed -- and that might just make Japan do a better job of it (instead of bringing in the AKB 'gate keepers').

And while you're mocking it before seeing it, maybe the movie addresses why he chooses that spot in this country as well, and the 'inner journey' he talks about saves him (and that has to do with Japan and the culture as well). Your reaction is typically knee-jerk, Alex.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

This sounds completely idiotic. He can kill himself at his home country.

Alex80 - A brilliant, well-thought out argument as to why we should not see this movie as its obviously not entertaining. Genius, really..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In a country with 200 million guns, and many times more forest than the entire country of Japan possesses, why the hell would someone want to travel all the way to Japan to kill himself in a "sea of trees"? The very idea is boo-worthy, and that it somehow such a movie got made is... Well, I guess that Hollywood has run out of ideas for movies, and has made countless sequels for any movie which earns them a dime. The formula is to use a couple of well-known faces, so they can make money from fan appeal instead of by telling a good story.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If it were a Japanese director who had done it you'd be calling it genius.

If a Japanese director had made a movie about a Japanese man who wants to kill himself and he flies to the US to do it, I would have thought it was a stupid idea as well. But, the main point you missed though, it's the fact that I wasn't the one to say they exploited the sad popularity of that place, I only said it was one of the negative comments the movie got.

Chang praised the film's aesthetic, stating "Cinematographer Kasper Tuxen works wonders with the forest’s softly diffused light by day, and makes exquisite use of a campfire to illuminate McConaughey’s and Watanabe’s faces at night." He also described co-star Naomi Watts as "solidly moving and sometimes awesomely passive-aggressive." Nonetheless, he concludes that the film is, "Almost impressive in the way it shifts from dreary two-hander to so-so survival thriller to terminal-illness weepie to M. Night Shyamalan/Nicholas Sparks-level spiritual hokum, this risibly long-winded drama is perhaps above all a profound cultural insult, milking the lush green scenery of Japan’s famous Aokigahara forest for all it’s worth, while giving co-lead Ken Watanabe little to do other than moan in agony, mutter cryptically, and generally try to act as though McConaughey’s every word isn’t boring him (pardon the expression) to death."[22]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sea_of_Trees#Reception

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I know it, but this doesn't make less stupid that one American man needs to fly to Japan to kill himself.

But if he had stayed home would have been a pretty boring movie then, wouldn't it. On top of having nothing to do with the title.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

But if he had stayed home would have been a pretty boring movie then, wouldn't it. On top of having nothing to do with the title.

Apparently it's a boring movie as well. Oh, I just read Chang's whole review:

http://variety.com/2015/film/festivals/the-sea-of-trees-review-matthew-mcconaughey-cannes-1201495483/

How this dramatically stillborn, commercially unpromising Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions pickup managed to score a competition berth at Cannes (where it was greeted with a round of boos) is a vastly more impenetrable mystery than the one laid out in Sparling’s screenplay — namely, why a morose-looking Arthur Brennan (McConaughey) has decided to buy a one-way ticket from Massachusetts to Japan and enter Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest or the Sea of Trees. The self-termination rate in this gorgeously verdant, 14-square-mile stretch is apparently so high that officials have even put up signs urging visitors to reconsider (“Please think again, so that you can make your life a happy one”), all of which Arthur determinedly ignores as he sits down and begins to swallow the pills he’s brought with him.

So the protagonist hasn't really any particular reason to go to Japan to kill himself rather than do it in Massachusetts. If this isn't stupid, I don't even.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Apparently it's a boring movie as well.

Maybe. Or maybe not. Not being a lemming, I prefer to make my own judgements on something like that, rather than making my judgement based on other's comments without having actually seen the movie.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I prefer to make my own judgements on something like that, rather than making my judgement based on other's comments without having actually seen the movie.

Idem, the execution of the movie could be good in my opinion after I watched it, despite the general negative reception, but this doesn't change the fact I can already say that the concept about a man flying to another country to kill himself without any reason that links him to that country, is idiotic.

Smith said this:

So perhaps the movie will bring to the world's attention that such popular places for suicides, as with to Tojimbo cliffs, is a major problem that should be addressed -- and that might just make Japan do a better job of it (instead of bringing in the AKB 'gate keepers').

If the director's aim was this, well he could choose to tell the story of Japanese people, period, without this BS about an American guy flying to Japan to kill himself. But you rarely can get a Hollywood movie with only Asian actors...probably it never happened or almost.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Alex80 - how on earth could you be so upset about a movie you haven't even seen? where does this anger come from?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@clamenza: I'm not upset about this movie, I only said it's based on an idiotic concept. The ones who are upset are the ones who got mad at me for my opinion, like Smith and you too, apparently.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Actually the premise sounds pretty good. Hopefully better than Interstellar, an extremely overrated movie.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

huge fans of the talent but saw a clip on youtube and it was hokey as hell

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good thing the Cannes show is nothing more than a that. Just elites playing at being relevant. The movie is probably good because it was booed by those irrelevant people.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I've seen a lot of movies that won academy awards that I didn't like and I've seen some very poorly reviewed movies that I thought were great. Sometimes politics get in the way at Cannes... but either way I'll be my own judge.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Apparently it's a boring movie as well.

Maybe. Or maybe not. Not being a lemming, I prefer to make my own judgements on something like that, rather than making my judgement based on other's comments without having actually seen the movie.

Good call, Strangerland. There are a good many movies which have been panned by reviewers; however, some of them are highly nuanced works of art by which I have been deeply moved. For example, Carlos Reygadas opened his film Stellet Licht which won the Cannes Grand Jury Prize in (I believe) 2008) with a six-minute sunrise that had numerous people howling their displeasure. It was slow. It was boring. Blah-blah-blah.

For the viewer who was fully present and aware in those six minutes, they were powerful and luminous. But, you had to see it to know it. I saw that film three times and could not believe how fast it was--if you were trying to read all the symbolism along with the subtitles, that is.

This film could be like that. What some have found laughable others might not.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I know it's pedantic, but I can't help myself.

ovate adjective chiefly Biology having an oval outline or ovoid shape, like an egg. ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from Latin ovatus 'egg-shaped.'

ovation noun 1 a sustained and enthusiastic show of appreciation from an audience, esp. by means of applause: the performance received a thundering ovation.

2 Roman History a processional entrance into Rome by a victorious commander, of lesser honor than a triumph. ORIGIN early 16th cent. ( sense 2): from Latin ovatio(n-), from ovare 'exult.'

I couldn't find any dictionary that lists ovate as a verb. (Not the topic of the article at all, but, oh well.) :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another try at connecting with the Japanese version of 'Sea of Trees', which is worth seeing, and probably available for rental in Japan... Surprised to find the official site of the movie is still active, and includes the trailer: www.bitters.co.jp/kinoumi/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Variety called the film “a risibly long-winded drama.” The Hollywood Reporter slammed it as “woefully sentimental and maudlin.”

Sounds like just about every Japanese drama I've seen....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So perhaps the movie will bring to the world's attention that such popular places for suicides, as with to Tojimbo cliffs, is a major problem that should be addressed -- and that might just make Japan do a better job of it (instead of bringing in the AKB 'gate keepers').

Interestingly, Korea has a higher suicide rate than Japan. It has the highest number of female suicides in the world. Maybe instead of endlessly promoting their so-called "Korean wave" they should be focusing on this other "wave" that's more alarming and disturbing.

http://beyondhallyu.com/culture/south-korea-the-suicide-capital-of-the-world/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"oˈvate, v.2 journalistic. [repr. L. ovā-re to exult, rejoice, celebrate an ovation; but prob. immed. from ovation: cf. orate.] trans. To give a popular ovation to; to greet with public applause. 1864 Sala in Daily Tel. 24 May, As to the manner in which Garibaldi might be ‘ovated’ here [America]. 1870 [see ovator]. 1890 Sat. Rev. 3 May 521/1 Mr. Stanley returned to England, and was ‘ovated’ at Dover. (OED)"

It's in the Urban Dictionary as a verb as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So I'm thinking Japan doesn't hand out visas for the purpose of suicide so this fellow would most likely have entered on a tourist visa (waiver actually). But then wouldn't that one-way ticket have caused problems at immigration?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

McConnaisance? Typical publicity nonsense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"oˈvate, v.2 journalistic. [repr. L. ovā-re to exult, rejoice, celebrate an ovation; but prob. immed. from ovation: cf. orate.] trans. To give a popular ovation to; to greet with public applause. 1864 Sala in Daily Tel. 24 May, As to the manner in which Garibaldi might be ‘ovated’ here [America]. 1870 [see ovator]. 1890 Sat. Rev. 3 May 521/1 Mr. Stanley returned to England, and was ‘ovated’ at Dover. (OED)"

Where did that definition come from?

It's in the Urban Dictionary as a verb as well.

I wouldn't place a lot of weight on things in the urban dictionary.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Alex"This sounds completely idiotic.He can kill himself at his home country".

Well said. Totally agree.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Alex80: " but this doesn't change the fact I can already say that the concept about a man flying to another country to kill himself without any reason that links him to that country, is idiotic."

It's not 'fact' at all that the movie is idiotic, it's opinion -- and opinion before you have even seen it. Why not reserve judgement until you've seen it? Ah, that's right -- you never can when it involves the US. Just like with their remake of Death Note, you automatically call it a failure and idiotic without it even having come out yet. At least you didn't blame this on the war in Iraq. And yes, clearly you are upset about it -- the 10 or so posts you've already made on the yet-to-come-out movie show that.

"If the director's aim was this, well he could choose to tell the story of Japanese people, period, without this BS about an American guy flying to Japan to kill himself."

Why the need to dictate the artistic views of others? What a boring world it would be if movies about Japan could be shown starring Japanese only, and directed by Japanese only, or Hollywood movies could only be filmed about and inside the US. What's more, that while you acknowledge the fact that these places are FAMOUS for suicides, you fail to address the fact that others might want to bring attention to that and show the human side of it all. You're just embarrassed that places like this exist and are well known for what they are well known for, and as such are part of the problem when it comes to dealing with it instead of simply trying to cover it up. You'd prefer the places not be mentioned at all.

If Hollywood, or any other company or artist wants to depict a movie somewhere outside their own nation instead of inside, they have every right in the world, and nothing you or others can say will stop that. Try not to let your bias against the US and Europe lead to judgement of things before you have had a chance to experience them. If you see it and you then think it sucks based on the movies merits and not just said bias, fine, you are of course entitled to your opinion. But don't claim that something is idiotic and that it's fact, not opinion.

But you rarely can get a Hollywood movie with only Asian actors...probably it never happened or almost.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@smith: I'm not upset about this film, I'm only defending my opinion against people like you who got mad at me for my opinion about the premise. I even said that the execution could be good, but the premise is idiotic since the protagonist doesn't have any reason who links him to Japan. You are really obsessed with war in Iraq uh? You speak about it way more than me! About Death Note Hollywood remake, I don't like live actions very much in the first place, no matter the nationality, and Hollywood remakes of Japanese stuff is usually disappointing. Can I have my own taste? No? Finally, how absurd: why should I be embarrassed by the fact that in Japan exist places famous for suicides? Are you serious? First, I'm Italian, not Japanese. Second, I find very fascinating (even if sad) that there are some places like this, from a sociological points of view. And tons of Japanese works speak about suicide anyway, suicide is seen like something shameful in the West, not in the original Japanese culture. Maybe in Korea it would be a reason of embarrassment? Explain me, since I don't know your country culture very well. I know there are more Christians than in Japan, is this the reason why you see suicide like shameful?

Are you upset just because an American movie has been disliked in a European festival? It happens, deal with it. The movie could be more decent than it seems. How many times our European movies are disliked in America? I guess tons of times, but who cares! Which is your real problem? Take it easy. Your obsession against me is the only thing that is becoming embarrassing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I even said that the execution could be good, but the premise is idiotic since the protagonist doesn't have any reason who links him to Japan.

How do you know? Have you seen the movie?

Calling the premise stupid without knowing how the story is put together is idiotic. There could be any of an infinite number of reasons that connect the to Japan, and even that forest. Without seeing the movie, there is no way of knowing whether he does or not, or what the reasons that would bring him to Japan would be.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Strangeerland: According the reviews about the movie that I read, there's not any solid connection between the protagonist and Japan, for this I'm saying the premise is idiotic. If he had some past bond with the country, well it would be different. Anyway, why do you want me changing my mind? Guys stop. I guess you would never spend some money about something that sounds stupid to you, even if you didn't watch it yet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Also Chang review from Variety says it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Also Chang review from Variety says it.

The review says this:

Along the way, they tell each other their respective reasons for coming to Aokigahara; not too surprisingly, Takumi’s story takes about a minute and involves the loss of a job (“You don’t understand my culture,” he mutters, a line that sounds suspiciously like something only a white man could have written).

Arthur’s narrative, by contrast, takes the better part of two hours to fully unfold

Sounds like there is a reason given in the movie to me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

His reasons for choosing Japan are not explained if you read the whole review.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Alex80: "I'm not upset about this film, I'm only defending my opinion against people like you who got mad at me for my opinion about the premise."

First, you clearly are upset. It's evident in not only the number of posts, but your tone. Second, I'm not upset in the least either by your opinion or by the fact that it was not received well at Cannes; the former because I don't care about your opinion -- only that you stated AS FACT that it was idiotic, when it was only an opinion, and the latter because Cannes is not the be all tell all judge of movies, especially when it comes to Hollywood. As was pointed out, many films not well received at Cannes, which has more of an artistic bent when it comes to movies, ARE well received elsewhere. At times I agree completely with what the judges and public think at Cannes (again, generally with repetoire films), at other times I disagree. Ultimately, I only do so AFTER I have seen it; something you are clearly incapable of doing.

"Also Chang review from Variety says it."

So you base your personal opinions on those of others. Guess you can never claim to be objective ever again, nor really are any opinions your own. Well done.

"Are you upset just because an American movie has been disliked in a European festival?"

Not in the least, for the reasons I have mentioned previously, and also because truth be told I prefer European movies and many TV shows to those produced in the US, especially by Hollywood. The whole point I and others are making is that you have judged the film and claimed it is idiotic IN FACT before even having seen it, and based solely on the reviews of others.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Where did that definition come from?

Off a grammar-geek forum, I can't find the link now, I'm sorry! I should have saved it.

As for the Urban dictionary, it being there made me think it might be a 'thing' ...words go in and out of fashion, are invented and re-invented.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Alex80- something about this film and its theme clearly has you very upset. Very,very upset...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

His reasons for choosing Japan are not explained if you read the whole review.

Your point being? Do you expect the whole movie to be explained in a review? Doesn't that pretty much take way the point of watching the movie?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Strangerland: Chang said it's a mystery how a movie like that could be presented at Cannes, exactly like in the movie the reason why a man from Massachussets should go to another country to kill himself remains a mystery. So, apparently his reason for the travelling there isn't explained properly.

Like it's a mystery why Clamenza and Smith are so upset just because I think this movie's premise is stupid. It's my free opinion, period, and has nothing to do with their contrived absurd ideas about me being embarrassed if the world knows that this place does exist. This is very weird paranoia. Io sono italiana, l'ho detto cento volte, perchè dovrei vergognarmi di qualcosa che succede in Giappone? Misteri su cui solo il buon Smith e Clamenza possono far luce... Now, translate by yourself, since you are doubting I'm Italian and I am not embarrased for how the US see Japan. It doesn't make any sense.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I've know a couple cases where people have travelled to a distant country to kill themselves. I would guess it's not uncommon at all. Especially if the person just hopes to disappear and not leave a trace for friends or family to find.

Seems silly to pan the movie based on it having a unbelievable premise, especially when the premise is not all that unusual.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I remember a documentary about the golden gate bridge and many of the jumpers were foreigners. The article is, as usual, quite lacking and doesn't go into a lot of detail regarding the nationalities of the booers, but it sounds like they were mainly American, not Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alex80: " Chang said it's a mystery how a movie like that could be presented at Cannes, exactly like in the movie the reason why a man from Massachussets should go to another country to kill himself remains a mystery. So, apparently his reason for the travelling there isn't explained properly."

Again, you base your own opinion on things completely on others. We get it -- you have no opinion of your own. It's just surprising you don't see that as a problem when defending what you call your own 'opinion', even after you have said it's not opinion, but fact.

What does Chang think about you being so angry?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@smith: I have an opinion of mine and it's the movie's premise is silly. Now continue to complain by yourself.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Alex80: " I have an opinion of mine and it's the movie's premise is silly."

You haven't seen it, and so you cannot possibly know. Forming an opinion based solely on others opinions only means you are being completely subjective and cannot formulate an opinion on your own based on the material you are judging. THAT is what is 'silly'. And as has been pointed out, people do travel to other nations to kill themselves at times, so it is not ludicrous either, especially when it's a nation where certain spots are popular for that kind of thing. No need to be embarrassed about it, and perhaps the movie is even trying to draw attention to it and change that kind of sad popularity.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Alex80 - its been well documented that people travel great distances, from foreign countries as well, to jump off the Golden gate Bridge. How is this any different? Again, why are you so upset?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the news about the movie The interview plenty of people here said it was mediocre based only on the premise, it happens all the time so I don't get why my opinion about this movie premise is creating such paranoid thoughts in some people. Uh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not paranoid thoughts, we're simply pointing out the idiocy of declaring the concept of the movie as idiotic, when you haven't seen it, and it's actually a real phenomenon.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Alex80MAY. 18, 2015 - 03:02PM JST His reasons for choosing Japan are not explained if you read the whole review.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

The movie does not have to explain reason. Japan is famous on suicide but not guns. this movie is encouraging Japanese suiciders go back to tradition, Go up on mountain forest to do your choice of suicide, Occassionary very rich people do with pistol and we read on detail of why on weeklies

A man and another man or a girl and another girl. Doseiai Shinju. Family together Oyako Shinju etc.

I haven't watched as I could not find in Walmart in our area. So above is my guess on concept of film. It is just a fiction anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@strangerland: premise is one thing, the execution of the movie another. How the concept has been developed could be better than the concept itself or even worse. Anyway you are not one of the users with paranoid thoughts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@strangerland: premise is one thing, the execution of the movie another. How the concept has been developed could be better than the concept itself or even worse

Wow, you must have watched the movie twice to make such bold critiques.

Oh, thats right. You haven't seen it yet...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

not only is mcconaughey a pompous overrated actor, he's also an idiot for using the word "ovate" as a verb. yardley is 100% correct in her post.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

not only is mcconaughey a pompous overrated actor

To each his/her own. I think he's a very good actor. Who cares aout his personality.

Just watched Dallas Buyers Club last night for the first time. Damn good acting, and the weight he had to lose!

Other favorites

Reign of Fire

Amistad

Contact

A Time to Kill

The Lincoln Lawyer

The Sea Of Trees sounds interesting. There was also an article on JT about a movie about a Japanese women who went looking for the buried FARGO suitcase full of money. I wanna see that too.

And what's showing at TOHO today? Cinderella-no way!. Furious 7-NO way! The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water-Never.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yardley, I appreciate your pedantry if no one else does. Someone else made a joke about it above. I thought it sounded strange, to ovate.

It's possible that through the many websites sadly in existence nowadays that are apparently dedicated to suicide that his character will have learned of the place from that.

I'm really looking forward on the other hand to HIrokazu Koreeda's new film Umimachi diary. His films are sometimes slow-paced but I'd rather them any day to a film about suicide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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