Although Cannes' reactions aren't known for being either reliable or in any way believable, the noise coming out about Sean Penn's efforts is too loud to ignore.
The Last Face sees Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as two aid workers in Africa who form a relationship that uh... well, it's hard to say.
A lot of the reviews have focused on just cringe-inducing the dialogue is, the lack of chemistry between Theron and Bardem and just how self-important it all is. The Guardian's Benjamin Lee slated the film with just one star, saying that "Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem give career worst performances as doctors falling in love in west Africa while black characters are relegated to the background."
Meanwhile, The Wrap was equally brutal, calling the film "a spectacularly misjudged mix of humanitarian intentions and gonzo-terrible execution." One French film critic imaginatively dubbed the film The Last Fart.
There's no word yet on whether or not the film will be picked up for international distribution as the reviews have been universally horrific. For his part, Penn's reasonably realistic about the whole thing. "I think (the movie) will disappear if it gets a poor reaction and I think that would be a terrible shame because it's very relevant now and the performances are transcendent... I've given it all I've got."
Do you want to tell him? Best not, really.