Don't let others influence you to not watch this movie (by esteemdancers-1)
I don't understand why this movie was booed at the Cannes Film Festival. This is a beautiful story. It is a story in which we learn so many lessons about life's most difficult moments and how one can find the courage to survive. Excellent acting and beautiful script. The cinematography is beautiful.An American man, Arthur Brennan, played by Matthew McConaughey travels to the "Suicide Forest" Aokigahara forest to kill himself at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, the site of numerous suicides. There he encounters a Japanese man, Takumi Nakamura, played by Ken Watanabe, who <more>
wants to kill himself as well, and both men begin a journey of self- reflection and survival.But more than the suicide theme, there is the story of Arthur Brennan and his relationship with his wife, Joan, played by Naomi Watts, which is told to the viewer with a series of flashbacks. The core problems that exist in so many marriages are brought to the surface and examined during the unfolding of the story. It is a stark reminder of how easily we sometimes let love and relationships deteriorate when we don't have to. Thinking we will one day have time to fix the problem. Beautiful story and excellent acting from all. I loved this film.
Don't let unjustified bad reviews stop you from seeing this film (by mojomoc)
This film was truly well done, all three main characters were real. Regret, guilt, love buried in a challenging relationship. A soul journey that couldn't have been told any better. Matthew McC. had me in tears which really only rarely happens. He got me all through. The film led you step by step towards the whole, you could follow each revelation, lesson of Arthur's journey as if you were with him, there. An atypical Gus Van Sant Film sure. BUT he was able to capture the fine in between the lines way of the Japanese culture which talks in symbols more than direct expression, in a <more>
beautiful and still GVS-creepy surprising different way. Go see it if you had regret in your life, you won't regret it ;-
A Meditation on Relationships, Life, Date and Afterlife (by jeanluc2911)
I am rather surprised that The Sea of Trees was booed at Cannes mostly because it is a very good movie but also because of the adolescent behaviour of the audience! The film has everything in it that American cinema goers don't want to see such as suicide, cancer, illness, a high functioning alcoholic, an RTA, and the ugly side of marriage! I suspect the Cannes audience found it too close to home, a painful mirror if you will.The film is a meditation on relationship, life, death and afterlife. It has a lot of unsettling themes that sooner or later we are all confronted with... Cannes and <more>
the general public are obviously just not ready for this. Gus van Sant has not disappointed this viewer. Excellent!
Truth and redemption wrapped in shades of darkness (by wendymareebb)
Finally a movie with a story that has depth and meaning - not just grotty realism or flights of fantasy, no matter how speculative, without a shred of truth.I really enjoyed the performances as these kind of characters wouldn't be easy to portray, yet they were convincing, engaging - even masterful. Matthew was fantastic in his role. He portrayed a deeply depressed man for most of it, so everything had to be delivered in a lack-lustre, listless manner. However, the high energy, dramatic turns are usually the ones most honoured. I enjoyed the story as although there were shades of darkness <more>
there were also glimmers of light and hope and beauty. Guilt can be one of the most negative emotions, stealing hope and joy. But it's as pointless as all the other negatives. I like how the MC found his redemption through helping someone else find the right path. The same can be true for everyone.The pacing might be a little slow, but the movie had a lot to say and show. Speaking of showing, the cinematography was beautiful. And the music added just the right kind of emotion and tone, sometimes lifting the sombre tone of the story by hinting there is always hope and help if we know where to look.
Beautiful Film!!! Do not bother reading the negative reviews (by nadine-prys)
I tend to read the reviews on any film before watching it just to get a little bit of insight into what the general reaction is. This one, I was hesitant to watch as the rating is so low. I really like Ken Watanabe and enjoy most of Matthew Mc Conaughey's films so I gave it a whirl.It was excellent! Slow in parts but every little detail is folded into an intricate story line and explained at the end in several moving flashbacks.The film really makes you rethink your life and how you treat those you love with the time we have been given.I definitely recommend everyone give it a chance. <more>
Unless you like movies like Bad Neighbors.... Then you may as well skip it because the IQ level required is much too high for you anyways :-
Loved this movie, This movie shows some of the real struggles in Life, Marriage and Society. How we can lose ourselves in the day to day grind, forgetting what is important to us. I thought the movie started a little slow at first but I was still intrigued to find out what brought him to the forest. So glad I continued watching. I found my self yelling at the screen at times and at other times sitting on the edge of my seat. Great acting by everyone. This movie is a movie I will watch again. Sorry for the rest of this jabber but I need at least 10 lines of text for this review to be posted <more>
and I think I only had seven lines. Please watch the movie it is a great movie.
Ignore the critics. This film is worth the watch! (by julian-640-544058)
OK, so the critics panned this film as boring and lack luster with some very harsh comments, but my curiosity was sparked by the unusual plot so I gave it a go. Ten minutes into the film, I was near ready to give up on it and agree with it detractors, as it was very slow moving at the start, however, as the story developed I became interested in the 'why' and committed myself to discover the answers. Matthew McConaughey offers a very good performance as does Ken Watanabe, both of whom demonstrate their desperation, frustration and hopefulness with convincing commitment. Naomi Watts <more>
completes the group of well matched, well directed talent. I found the cinematography to be excellent as well. I did figure out the plot twist before it was revealed, but the way the director exposed it, I thought, was quite brilliant, and, just when I thought the film was over, we are presented with still another surprise that actually made me smile. All and all, Sea of Trees delivered as both entertainment and a moral study from which every observer can benefit. I enjoyed it, and, given a chance, I think most views will as well.
Near perfect pacing, writing & acting lead to a great movie. One you have to be in the mood for & be emotionally ready to handle (by cosmo_tiger)
"I don't want to die, I just didn't want to live." Arthur Brennan McConaughey is tired of his life and is just flailing and decides he only has one option. He flies to Japan in order to visit the mysterious Aokigahara forest to end it all. When he begins to carry out his plan he notices Takumi Watanabe who has changed his mind about suicide and is trying to find his way out. Arthur decides to help him escape, and along the way the two begin to discuss their lives, and find reasons for living. This is a good movie but one you must be in the mood for. This is not super <more>
depressing, but its not a very happy movie either. The acting is great, as would be expected, and that really carries the movie. Little by little you find out more and more about Arthur's story and why he is in the position he is. The pacing and writing of the movie is near perfect and the acting only adds to the emotion needed for a film like this. There was a movie called The Forest that came out a few months ago that dealt with this area as well, I liked that one better but the movies are just so different its almost hard to compare the two. Overall, near perfect pacing, writing and acting lead to a great movie. That said, it is one you have to be in the mood for and be emotionally ready to handle. Since the re-watchablity for me at least isn't there, I give this a B+.
I've liked most all of Gus Van Sant directed movies, so I was more than curious to view this film. Also when your better half says she loves it, you tend to watch, so I did. Oscar winning actor Matthew McConaughey and Oscar nominated Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe also guarantee the production will provide fine performances and they did, superbly.Arthur Brennan played by McConaughey, is having marital problems; his wife Joan a borderline alcoholic yet successful business women resents the low paying job of Arthur, a science professor, who cannot contribute a fraction of what income she <more>
generates, but it's her lack of trust in him ever since he had an affair that fuels her alcoholism.The movie toggles between current time and what lead to Arthur's near demise. One has to pay attention and not miss anything. The couple had a wonderful life up until Arthur quit, at the behest of Joan, a job he didn't much like and slowly the disparity in their contribution to the household income began to pull them apart. Joan is diagnosed with brain cancer and Arthur's love showed itself to be steadfast just as love should be. In the hospital Joan made Arthur promise, because she too still loved him, that he would not go through what she was going through, that he should end his life in a beautiful setting where he could die with joyful memories rather than the ominous setting she was now experiencing, should he ever find himself faced with a terminal diagnosis. That was a touching and unexpected scene, rarely found in novels or movies that I can recall.She has successful surgery and while being transported later from the hospital, the ambulance is hit by a truck and she dies in Arthur's arms. Overcome by guilt and his despair, he decides to join his beloved in the very way she had made him promise, though he was not terminally ill, just overwhelmed. He finds the best place to die searching the web, Aokigahara Forest in Japan, also known as suicide forest, and heads there.Now keep in mind that the story is non linear and we watch his adventure in the forest whilst we see the marriage deteriorate and the love of the couple rise above it. As I mentioned, you can't miss a minute.Arthur is in the forest when he encounters a man, Ken Watanabe, who is trying to find his way back to civilisation, having changed his mind about suicide; they are lost now in this sea of trees. Both men as it turns out recount their stories and find the will to live, but the environment gets the best of them and only Arthur makes it out. He tries desperately to find his lost friend, once having recovered at the hospital, but to no avail. The journey of the men is a reflection of life, the choices we make and how everyone has the same, more or less, attachment to a life of love.The performances are the award winning kind and the original screenplay should have been, maybe will be, a novel one day. The direction of Van Sant, impeccable as usual, true to the list of works I love. You will not have blockbuster special effects here, no violence, no sexual scenes, just a cerebral journey; if you like that sort of thing and I do, oh do I recommend it.