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The Sea Of Trees (#110 of 2)

Cannes Film Festival 2015 Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees

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Cannes Film Festival 2015: The Sea of Trees
Cannes Film Festival 2015: The Sea of Trees

The first and by no means last example of The Sea of Trees’s egregious literalism transpires even before the film has properly begun, as the title appears before a kitschy aerial shot that just so happens to show, yes, you guessed it, a sea of trees. The sea in question here is Japan’s Aokigahara forest, which, as we later discover, is the first entry you get if you Google “perfect place to die.” This is quite literally what’s led unrealistically hunky professor Arthur Brennan (Matthew McConaughey) to pick the forest as the location for his suicide, which he decides against at the last minute, pills still in hand, thus conveniently paving the way for a barrage of flashbacks that spell out just how he ended up here in nice, big letters.