No one could have predicted just how much of a nightmare “The Sea Of Trees” Cannes premiere was going to be. A new film from Gus Van Sant starring recent Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey had all the makings of another major awards contender, yet the movie ended up as the biggest disaster of Cannes that year, earning abysmal reviews that ranged from the bad to the downright scathing. IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn even called the film Gus Van Sant’s “worst movie” ever.
The bad press left many wondering if the drama would ever seen the light of day in theaters. Roadside and Lionsgate had purchased distribution rights before the film’s premiere, but the torrid response had them backpedaling on releasing it. A24 surprisingly rescued the movie earlier this summer, announcing an August release in theaters. The company has dropped a new official trailer, giving audiences one of their first looks at the notorious Cannes disaster.
The official synopsis reads: “Matthew McConaughey stars as Arthur Brennan, an American professor who travels to Japan in the midst of a personal crisis. As he wanders through a mysterious forest with a dark past, he experiences flashbacks of his fraught but loving relationship with his wife, Joan (Naomi Watts), and meets an enigmatic stranger, Takumi (Ken Watanabe), who is lost and injured. Arthur devotes himself to saving Takumi and returning him home to safety, and the two embark on a spiritual, life-changing journey of friendship, discovery, and healing.”
“The Sea Of Trees” opens in theaters and digital platforms August 26. Watch the new trailer below.