The first movie in competition at the festival to meet with such a negative response, it co-stars Naomi Watts and Ken Watanabe. McConaughey plays an American who travels to Japan’s “suicide forest” after the death of his wife.
Variety critic Scott Foundas tweeted that the film was “one for nobody,” while others in the auditorium also noted the widespread boos from the Palais audience.
A Cannes favorite, Van Sant won the Palme d’Or in 2003 for school shooting drama “Elephant.” His film “Restless,” starring Mia Wasikowska, showed in Un Certain Regard in 2011.
The mystery was acquired by Roadside Attractions for the U.S. on Wednesday.