‘The Sea of Trees’ Review: A Touching Drama


Matthew McConaughey stars in this intense drama about love, life, and death.

The Sea of Trees is a gripping story that will affect viewers and reach their inner core.

The movie focuses on Arthur (McConaughey), a man who is in emotional crisis. He travels to Japan with the purpose of going to the Sea of Trees, a place where people from all around the world go to commit suicide and end their lives in a beautiful forest. This is his purpose for going there, however, while deep within the forest, viewers see flashbacks to what brought him there in the first place. His marriage to Joan (Naomi Watts) is based on a deep love, yet they are not connecting on any level. She is an alcoholic and he is the proverbial punching bag for her dissatisfaction.

While in the forest, viewers see two stories — Arthur’s life before coming to Japan and his life inside the Sea of Trees. In the forest he meets a man (Ken Watanabe) who has second thoughts about killing himself. Arthur interrupts his own death to help this man find his way out of the forest. His insights into the forest, life, and death touch Arthur who feels deeply about helping this man return to his family. Both of them are injured and encounter one catastrophe after another. Yet Arthur’s promise to get the man home is his reason for forging on through thick and thin.

This is a life-changing journey for Arthur, and potentially for viewers as well. There are plenty of twists and turns in this touching drama. It is definitely a story that will have viewers thinking.

McConaughey won an Academy Award for his performance in the 2013 film, Dallas Buyers Club, and has been honored with other awards and accolades. His performance in The Sea of Trees is worthy of recognition. The film was nominated for the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.

As Arthur winds his way through the mysterious forest in Japan, his personal life comes to light and viewers immediately see he is in a deep crisis. As the spiritual journey undertaken by Arthur with this stranger unfolds, Arthur slowly comes to realize what is truly important and how much he and Joan loved each other. Is it too late to say, “I’m sorry”? Viewers will find out when they watch The Sea of Trees.

And yes, Aokigahara, aka the Suicide Forest, aka The Sea of Trees, is a real place.

The bonus feature, “The Sea of Trees: A Story of Beauty and Tragedy” is a close look at the story of Arthur and Joan and the haunting forest in Japan.

“The Sea of Trees” is a movie that will touch your soul. It’s rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some disturbing images, and brief strong language.

This title is available on DVD and Blu-ray November 1, 2016.



About Author

Francine has been covering the entertainment industry, products, and travel for over 20 years. She has been published internationally in newspapers, magazines, and on websites. Her book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, looks at all aspects of being an entertainment journalist.

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