If Naomi Watts was expecting a standing ovation at Cannes for her latest flick, The Sea of Trees, she was in for a rude surprise.
The movie, which premiered at Cannes on Saturday, was tipped for the festival’s highest honour, the Palme d’Or, but according to film-goers, fell flat on its face.
Directed by visionary Gus Van Sant, the picture centres around Naomi Watts and Matthew McConaughey’s characters, Arthur and Joan Brennan, and their journey into Japan – and their futile attempts to leave.
The Sea of Trees features an Academy Award nominee in Watts and an Academy Award winner in McConaughey, as well as the formidable Ken Watanabe, but after all the star-power, still failed to ignite the audience.
As the curtain fell on the film, it was met with ‘boos’ – the universal sign for ‘no good’.
"Without a doubt the worst film by Gus Van Sant," wrote one critic, "An awful melodrama made of pure sugar.”
Others named it an “out and out disaster” and a “fantastically annoying” piece - a far departure from Van Sant’s usually glowing reviews for past masterpieces, Good Will Hunting and My Own Private Idaho.
Unfortunately for Naomi Watts, The Sea of Trees was not her first filmic misstep in the past six months. Her royal biopic, Diana, failed to hit the mark, too, with some calling it “excruciating” and “squirmingly embarrassing and atrocious”.
“Diana [was] recast as a sad-sack singleton even Bridget Jones would avoid,” wrote one.
And the bad reviews just keep comin’.