The Last Face

The Last Face Information

The Last Face is a 2016 American drama film directed by Sean Penn and written by Erin Dignam. The film stars Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Adle Exarchopoulos, and Jean Reno. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, debuting to generally poor reviews.


Wren is a physician and activist working in West Africa with a Doctors Without Borders-esque organization that her dead father started so many years ago. She's happy to lead the organization, but frequently finds herself negatively comparing herself to her father's achievements. During 2003 Wren meets Miguel, a handsome surgeon that has also devoted himself to treating people from impoverished and war torn sections of the world. The two fall in love, however Wren soon discovers that Miguel has had a prior sexual relationship with her cousin, which contributes to the decay of their relationship.



On April 10, 2014, it was announced Sean Penn would direct the film, with Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem set to star in the film. Principal photography began on August 1, 2014, in Cape Town.


The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2016. Shortly after, Saban Films acquired U.S distribution rights to the film.


Critical reception for The Last Face at Cannes was heavily critical and The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the movie was booed during its screening. As of September 2016, the film holds a rating of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 2.4/10. The Hollywood Reporter panned the film, writing "A backdrop of Third World atrocity, suffering and merciless human-rights violations serves as the canvas for a faux-profound Hollywood love story in Sean Penn's stunningly self-important but numbingly empty cocktail of romance and insulting refugee porn, The Last Face." The Guardian and The Telegraph were equally dismissive, with The Guardian commenting 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".

Penn responded to the criticism and stated "I finished the film. It's not a discussion I can be of any value to. I'm certain that everyone is going to be well entitled to their response."

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