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CANNES– A day after premiering to a chorus of boos and laughter at its press screening, “Sea of Trees” earned a short and sweet standing ovation during his official premiere on Saturday evening in Cannes.

McConaughey, who plays an American who travels to Japan’s “suicide forest” after the death of his wife, did say earlier today during the presser that he “Anyone has any right to either boo or ovate,” but he and co-star Naomi Watts looked tense, especially McConaughey who is usually rather upbeat if not rowdy, when stepping onto the Palais’ red carpet. The actor, who sported a long beard and a shiny bordeaux suit, was nevertheless welcomed by hordes of fans and spent time signing autographs before taking a few poses with Watts and Van Sant, who was initially wearing sunglasses.

The premiere’s atmosphere and actors’ mood lightened up a few shades once applauds started to roll following the screening. McConaughey even flashed his first big smile of the night.

A Cannes favorite, Van Sant won the Palme d’Or in 2003 for “Elephant,” while his 2011 movie “Restless” played in Un Certain Regard in 2011.

“Sea of Trees” was picked up by Roadside Attractions for the U.S. on Wednesday.