By Joey Nolfi
February 19, 2016
A Japanese trailer for Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees arrived online, offering the first extended preview of the Matthew McConaughey-starring film since the release of a short clip early last year.
Following a lengthy introduction (in Japanese) by cast member Ken Watanabe, the trailer places Oscar-winner McConaughey front and center as Arthur Brennan, an American man who travels to Japan to kill himself in the Aokigahara Forest, one of the world’s most notorious suicide destinations. While there, Arthur meets Takumi Nakamura, a Japanese man also intent on ending his own life, but the pair appears to connect as they trek over and through rough terrain while discussing matters of life and death.
“Things are not what they seem here,” Watanabe says, as the dreary wooded setting surrounds him. “This place is what you call purgatory.”
The trailer also introduces Naomi Watts as Arthur’s wife, Joan. She cradles Arthur’s head on her chest as she sits atop a hospital bed towards the end of the clip, her forehead wrapped in bandages. “There’s always that moment,” says Arthur ominously. “The big, life-changing moment that knocks us on the floor and reminds us what really matters.”
Despite a chilly reception at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, The Sea of Trees was acquired for U.S. distribution by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, though a U.S. release date has yet to be announced.