THE SEA OF TREES (2016)
Gus Van Sant’s film from an original screenplay by Chris Sparling is a film I enjoyed though not quite sure what to make of it when it was first starting. A story of redemption set in a Japanese forest notorious for being a place where people from all over the globe but particularly in Japan go to commit suicide. It sounds morbid and strange but that is part of the allure since it really isn’t that at all and proves to be quite life affirming with its wonderful and mystical ending. It has not been received well by the majority of film critics and is being shown on a very limited basis in the United States, so most of you will need to catch this film with on VOD (video on demand) or DVD when released. The three main actors are given marvelous roles to play and I believe will be very glad one day that they participated in this film. They are Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe in a film that reminded me a bit of THE SIXTH SENSE. Beautifully shot in both Massachusetts and Japan by Kasper Tuxen, this picture provides much food for thought as I was kept thinking about it for quite a long time after I saw it.