Matthew McConaughey is on a fantastic roll, with his Oscar-nominated Dallas Buyers Club performance, his mesmerizing work as Rust Cohle on HBO’s True Detective, and heading up Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. You’ve come a long way, surfer dude(s).
Next up, McConaughey heads into Aokigahara aka Japan’s Sea of Trees, a dense forest known for its quiet beauty, the danger of getting lost…and dead bodies. The purportedly haunted woods is also a rumored site for Ubasute (according to Japanese folklore, the custom of taking sick or elderly relatives to an isolated location where they are left to die). McConaughey plays an American man who heads into the trees at Mt. Fuji’s base, and meets up with a like-minded man (Watanbe) who’s having second thoughts. The two men attempt to leave the forrest, but like many who enter, they’ve lost their way and begin a “journey of reflection and survival.” Gus Van Sant (Promised Land, Milk, Elephant, Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho) will direct the script by Chris Sparling (Buried). I’ve been a Van Sant admirer since Drugstore Cowboy and my still-favorite Kidman film, To Die For; add in McConaughey and Wantabe, and I’m ready to plop down for my ticket right now.