Noah Thompson’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Why do you want to die?"
"I don't want to die. I just didn't want to live."
At this point, with the reception of this, Southland Tales, and Only God Forgives, I'm just convinced that Cannes is full of insensitive jerks that need to get off their high horse. That's not to say that The Sea of Trees is as good as those two movies I just mention, but it is a movie that I got quite a bit out of. Without going too much into detail, I went through a notable patch in my high school years where my mind was in a terrible place. It took me a while to admit it, but I would imagine committing suicide at least once a day. It seems silly now that I'm a few years separated from it, seriously thinking I was willing to kill myself over a bad grade while today my college academics are going better than grade school ever did. But, depression and grief is something that can be very hard to apply logic to.
As we see with McConaughey's character even before he suffered the great tragedy that causes him to go to the forest, instability and frustration causes us to think and act in ways that are foolish and sluggish. We move more like zombies than people, and we are blinded towards the things in our lives that actually are good. And often, there is a lot of good present for you. Just how a tragic event can break you down, another opportunity can provide clarity. I was able to get through my lengthy depression through determination and encouragement from my close friends and family. Here I am, anxious of the future, yet still living a life that I am proud to have. The Sea of Trees walks a line between being meditative and melodramatic, and I think it walks that line well. The acting is consistently solid, the music is pretty, and it's beautifully shot. After earlier today being let down by a movie most people seem to like, it's nice to finish the day with a movie most dislike but I came to enjoy. The good is out there. You can get lost finding it, but it is there.