Penn loses face with aid drama

Jeers and laughter greet premiere at Cannes of star's directorial effort.
Sean Penn brushed aside Cannes critics' bad reviews of The Last Face. Photo / AP
Sean Penn brushed aside Cannes critics' bad reviews of The Last Face. Photo / AP

A film by Sean Penn starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, which has been entered for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, was received with jeers and criticism.

Laughter from the audience accompanied some of the most intense moments of The Last Face, in which the director allowed the beauty of the images to dominate the plot and the credibility of the characters.

Theron is the only one to save a little face in the movie in which co-star Bardem as well as supporting actors Jean Reno and Adele Exarchopoulos seem lost.

The story of doctors who are dedicated to humanitarian aid is mixed with what seems to be a love story between Theron and Bardem.

"It's definitely the worst movie I've seen in Cannes"; "Sean Penn needs to stop directing"; "It's corny, bad, absolute rubbish"; "A laughable disaster" and "an appalling failure" were some of the phrases journalists bestowed on the film after its premiere.

The Last Face is the second movie for Penn as a director to be presented in Cannes after The Pledge, which also competed for the Palme d'Or in 2001.

Penn brushed aside bad reviews by critics of the humanitarian drama at a later press conference.

"I stand by the film as it is, and everyone is going to be entitled to their response," he shrugged, according to Variety.com.

"I've finished the film so it's not a discussion I'd be of value to."

Theron and Penn seemed to keep their distance at the movie's photocall, almost a year on from their last appearance as a couple on the red carpet at Cannes.

The pair posed with members of the cast firmly between them, and avoided sitting near each other at the following press conference.

The couple began dating in December 2013 and Us Weekly reported that they had become secretly engaged a year later, however the two never confirmed the reports.

- AAP

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