Gus Van Sant’s The Sea Of Trees Debuts Heartbreaking US Trailer


Circling the jaws of a full-blown existential crisis, Matthew McConaughey wanders through The Sea of Trees in the heartbreaking new trailer for Gus Van Sant’s latest.

Van Sant, who rose to prominence through Good Will Hunting and 2008 biopic Milk, is crafting his first feature in close to four years with The Sea of Trees, and following a relatively poor reception at Cannes International Film Festival, there’s a worrying risk that the director’s philosophical feature will release dead on arrival.

Eager to offset any pre-release critiques, today’s fresh trailer charts the journey of Matthew McConaughey’s Arthur Brennan, a professor and writer who journeys into the heart of Japan’s Aokigahara forest – otherwise known as the suicide forest – in a desperate search for answers.

Instead, he crosses paths with Ken Watanabe’s injured stranger Takumi, and it’s through Watanabe’s audience surrogate that we learn of Arthur’s dying wife, played by the esteemed Naomi Watts.

Roadside Attractions is yet to pin down a US release date for The Sea of Trees, though we understand the studio plans to roll out Van Sant’s feature film in the UK come April. Expect the morbid drama to make its bow on these shores in and around the same release window.


In this powerful story of love and redemption, Matthew McConaughey stars as Arthur Brennan, an American professor who travels to Japan in the midst of a personal crisis. As he wanders through a mysterious forest with a dark past, he experiences flashbacks of his fraught but loving relationship with his wife, Joan (Naomi Watts), and meets an enigmatic stranger, Takumi (Ken Watanabe), who is lost and injured. Arthur devotes himself to saving Takumi and returning him home to safety, and the two embark on a spiritual, life-changing journey of friendship, discovery, and healing—one which may ultimately re-connect Arthur with his love for his wife.