Charlize Theron wants to quit Sean Penn so badly, but she can't — not while there's a terrible movie to promote.
The formerly engaged couple split almost a year ago, but they've been thrown together again and again since the breakup to promote their film The Last Face, directed by Penn and starring Theron. Their latest run-in happened in Cannes and, well, it doesn't appear that their relationship has thawed at all.
The pair did not stand anywhere near each other, with Theron's co-stars Adèle Exarchopoulos and Javier Bardem making sure there was plenty of distance, and they did not interact during the photo call. They also sat separately during the press conference that followed.
Penn kept a sourpuss look on his face throughout the day, which may have had less to do with the presence of his ex and more to do with the viscerally terrible reaction his film received at the Cannes Film Festival.
The movie is so bad that Cannes audience members alternately booed at the screen and laughed at what were supposed to be highly dramatic moments.
Calling it the worst film of Penn's career, IndieWire's Eric Kohn wrote, "The narrative panders on every level: It's a supercilious attempt to bemoan the hardships of neglected people under the guise of whiny romantic fluff."
The Guardian's Benjamin Lee gave it one star, calling the movie "an extended Band Aid video, shoddily assembled to be screened at galas filled with the guilty elite sipping champagne while frowning at close-ups of tearful orphans."
But the best — or worst, depending on how you look at it — comments were reserved for Twitter.
The Last Face is definitely the worst film I've seen in Cannes. Pompous, pointless... and I think a little bit racist...— Sam Creighton (@sam_creighton) May 20, 2016
@RebeccaKCooney African suffering as wallpaper to a white love story. No real black characters, all either victims or savages or both.— Sam Creighton (@sam_creighton) May 20, 2016
@RebeccaKCooney Because no one thinks they can turn to Sean Penn and say "this isn't profound, it's stupid".— Sam Creighton (@sam_creighton) May 20, 2016
I joined in the booing for my first time today for The Last Face. It was so bad that I laughed at loud at times.— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) May 20, 2016
THE LAST FACE: A transcendently bad movie about aid workers and African suffering. But to its credit, the romance is actually worse.— Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) May 20, 2016
Poor Jean Reno, saddled w/ the worst of the godawful dialogue in THE LAST FACE. On romance: "It is not grabbing. It is loving." #Cannes2016— erickohn (@erickohn) May 20, 2016
The Last Face is Beasts of No Nation rewritten for white people by Nicholas Sparks. No wonder Penn and Theron broke up #Cannes2016— Benjamin Lee (@benfraserlee) May 20, 2016
The Last Face - Lots of powerful images, but Sean Penn cannot direct at all. So cheesy, laughably bad, utter trash. Seriously awful awful.— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) May 20, 2016
Is it possible Charlize Theron saw a rough cut of THE LAST FACE and *then* ended things with Sean Penn? I would.— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) May 20, 2016
Ouch! That last one might be true, though, for all we know.
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