Blu-ray Review: THE SEA OF TREES


THE SEA OF TREES was directed by Gus Van Sant from a script by Chris Sparling and stars Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe.

In this powerful story of love and redemption, Arthur, an American professor, travels to Japan in the midst of a personal crisis. As he wanders through a mysterious forest with a dark past, he meets an enigmatic stranger who is lost and injured. The two embark on a spiritual, life-changing journey of friendship and survival that reconnects Arthur with his love for his wife.


The movie follows Arthur Brennan (Matthew McConaughey), a troubled American professor who travels to Japan’s infamous Aokigahara Forest so he can end his life after tragically losing his wife Joan (Naomi Watts). He immeditately comes across Takumi Nakamura (Ken Watanabe), a mysterious man wandering around in the forest who has been wounded and is close to death. This man also has his own tragic story to tell. The two end up helping and comforting each other through conversation as they slowly reignite their will to survive. For Arthur, this trip becomes a life-changing journey of love, discovery and redemption.

The reason why Arthur has come to this place is slowly revealed through flashbacks that show bits and pieces of his marriage to Joan. It starts off showing the miserable relationship between the two where he’s had an affair and she has covered up her pain with alcoholism. Both of them have done some things they regret and have a hard time living with it. What happens is tragedy strikes and this brings them closer together and just when they think they’ve made it through everything, one more shocker happens to them and this leaves Arthur in a very dark place. With each flashback the viewer gets to see that their marriage wasn’t all bad and that the two actually really loved each other, even though they really never knew each other. The Sea of Trees is a tragic love story.


The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc is flat grey and only features the movie logo – no artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Sea of Trees truly is a movie about beauty and tragedy. I really liked the story that dealt with overcoming heartbreak as well as rediscovering the love that was once lost and is found again after this tragic event strikes. It truly is a powerful story of love and redemption and director Gus Van Sant captures it all on nicely on screen. Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe give some really powerful performances and each of their characters offer up something unique to the story. We’ve gotten several horror movies over the past few years about Japan’s infamous Aokigahara Forest aka the Suicide Forest aka the Sea of Trees, but this movie is more of a grounded drama about love and redemption than anything else. I know the movie didn’t do well when it was released theatrically but The Sea of Trees is a really good slow burn that features this touching story and some great performances from its small cast. This Blu-ray+Digial HD Combo Pack releases on November 1st and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 110 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features:

  • The Sea of Trees: A Story of Beauty and Tragedy” Featurette (08:17)
  • Digital HD Copy


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