The Sea of Trees

The Sea of Trees

DVD - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Powerful story of love and redemption of an American professor, Arthur, who travels to Japan. He embarks on a spiritual and life-changing journey with Takumi, whom he found lost near the base of Mount Fuji. Takumi had gotten lost after attempting to commit suicide, now they fight for their survival while they are on their journey of reflection. Arthur's will to live reconnects him to his love for his wife.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 04, 2020

Wife and I were spellbound by this...unexpected and unusual drama.

Won't be everyone taste, but it was extremely well made and acted, with a bit of a twist at the end. (No spoilers here!)

Like a few other top stars today, Matthew McConaughey takes risks, signs on to projects that many others might skip. He did the same more recently with Serenity (which I found intriguing) and The Beach Bum (which I ejected after 10 minutes.) It seems the guy will try anything!

Critics hated this, the fans stayed away.

I won't forget it. And I mean that in a good way.

Nov 18, 2018

Overly melodramatic, underdeveloped characters. A lot of holes in the story.. ie..why climb a cliff face when you have been walking primarily same elevation. Poor casting of wife..seems too much like a college tv sitcom actor. We expected more from a movie starring McConaughey!

Nov 10, 2018

Portland's iconic director, Gus Van Sant has made some fine movies in the past (Elephant, My Own Private Idaho, Mala Noche.) Then he made this thing. He must have obtained funding by telling his benefactors that he was planning a remake of Shohei Imamura's "Ballad of Narayama" for American audiences (ie) it would be aimed at people with the cognition of a flea, which means that it would make millions. Unfortunately, Van Sant's benefactors forgot to tell the fine folks at, and they gave it one of their very, very, very few negative reviews. Consequently, it sank like a stone, only to be picked up by places like Fraser Valley Regional Library (which bought 46 copies!)

Yes, this is the sad tale of an academic who teaches physics to basket cases (oh, sorry, mentally handicapped) and is continually belittled by his real estate salesperson of a wife (wouldn't this be enough to want to commit suicide???) Out of the blue, he suddenly realizes what a treasure his wife is (she's a Hansel & Gretel fan (of course!)) and a foul wind does a snuff job on her making our hero wish to go to Japan and duplicate the gesture. Thanx to a lot of hokey mysticism he has a change of heart and lives happily ever after.

Oct 29, 2018

horrible acting waste of going to Japan to on location film. A man finds out about his dead spouse from unexpected events what her color, season, book...yeah right...any other no name actor could pulled this off....what does he get out of it...just to ease his grieving process.

If your mourning this one is for you if your happy go lucky ...throw the popcorn at the screen.

Oct 01, 2018

Worth watching. Don't bother with other opinions (including mine!). Take the time to find out for yourself that this is a very good and thought provoking movie.

Sep 11, 2018

This film is a meditation on the ebbs and flows, joy and pain of living. The "sea of trees" is both metaphor and symbol of this constant movement and tide that ripples through our lives whether we battle going against the current or ride the waves as shown through the main protagonist's journey. This is a film that stays with you and provides much food for thought and meditation. One of Gus Van Sant's best. Well cast and directed and beautifully shot. Highly recommend.

Jun 26, 2018

I was not certain if I was going to like this film during the first half hour. I was afraid it was going to be something supernatural with ghosts or "spirits". In a way it was. The longer I watched it, I grew to care about the characters. It is a wonderful study of grief, guilt, and hope. Highly recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Apr 02, 2018

We thought it was a slow drag. Kept flashing back and forth from his home life to his being in the forest located in Japan. We finally shut it off and watched something we had recorded. We checked how Rotten tomatoes rated it about it and 11% said it was good and that is very low, the public gave it a 40% which says 60% of the people felt the way we did. I did read the comments and we thought the high ratings came from people who like slow movies that they could keep up with. I thought I had given the movie a 2 star rating which was an aggressive rating but when I saw the 3 star I tried to correct it but was not able to.

A bereaved physics professor finds spirituality in "Suicide Forest" at the base of Mount Fuji. Not bad. Not particularly good either. Matthew McConaughey dials it back several notches and delivers a decent performance. Naomi Watts gives you Naomi Watts. And Ken Watanabe steals the show. Is Gus Van Sant able to make really engaging film?

Jul 02, 2017

Interesting movie, a bit macabre but touches some life and death issues and the ending is eye opening.....for thinkers....

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Dec 29, 2016

Promise me something, Arthur. Promise me that whenever it's your time... promise me it won't be in a place like that.
Tamashii are spirits. They are souls wandering these woods until it is their time. Things are not what they seem here.
-It was probably just an animal.
There are very few animals in aokigahara.
-Well, then it was one of the few.
This place is what you call purgatory.
-Now, why would I call it that?
Because you are American.
You believe in god.
-I'm a scientist.
There are answers for this in science?
-There are answers for everything in science.
But not in god?
-God is more our creation than we are his.

Dec 29, 2016

Why do you wanna die?
-I do not want to die.
Then why are you here?
-It is... I didn't want to live. ... You do not get real work. Nobody speaks to you. You are there, but you are not. Without job... I cannot take care of my family.
So you come here instead...
-You do not understand my culture.
I didn't come here because of the loss. I didn't come here because of the grief. I came here because of the guilt. I was wrong to treat my wife the way I treated her and she was wrong to treat me how she did. Now neither one of us are ever gonna get the chance to say... I'm sorry.
-She's listening.
No she's not.
-It is during our darkest times that our loved ones are closest. Even those who have passed.
(Pure Zen, from Wiki: 無為(むい) -- in Taoism, non-action or non-doing.)
Sometimes you do things. As much as you'd wanna take 'em back... you can't.

Dec 29, 2016

He had a wife named Kiiro, and a... and a child named Fuyu.
Yeah. Right here......on this little slip of paper. You wrote that, right?
-This? Yeah. Kiiro. Fuyu.
Promise me. Promise me you'll find the perfect place.
It is said a flower grows when a soul has crossed over from this place.
Did you love her?
-More than anything on earth.
She is with you. This forest holds her for you.
Why do you love this song?
-I'm most happy near the water. It is my paradise. The song make me think of good memories there.
That's where you should go when you get out of here. You hear me? Hey! That's where you should go.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TSCPL

To Top