A new trailer for Matthew McConaughey’s latest movie, Sea of Trees, came out yesterday. Sea of Trees premiered at Cannes last year, where it did not go over well, and while that audience can be a bit boo-happy, in this case, the ensuing reviews were pretty uniformly terrible, too. (IndieWire called it “Gus Van Sant’s worst movie”.) The original distributors, Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate, dropped the film for some reason that I’m sure has nothing at all to do with its quality and relative Oscar odds, and then A24 picked it up. They’re giving it an on demand release with minimal fanfare in August, which says nothing at all about this film’s (dashed) Oscar prospects.
The trailer isn’t doing much to instill confidence, either. It’s set to Sad Piano and there are lots of shots of Matthew McConaughey looking vaguely into the middle distance while unconnected dialogue plays over the music—typical Serious Art Film trailer. But for some reason—again, I’m sure this has nothing at all to do with disguising a bad movie—the plot is made to look like Sea of Trees is a Cancer Movie, but it isn’t really. It’s about two guys who get lost in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, aka the Suicide Forest. This is suddenly a popular place to set movies, and so far, it hasn’t worked for anyone. People are also calling this the end of the McConaissance, but that already ended with The Free State of Jones. Matthew McConaughey has entered the “self-important introspective fare” phase of his career revival.
Attached - McConaughey watching swimming finals in Rio yesterday.