It’s been a tough year for tough guy Sean Penn. First there was the controversy over what some called his self-serving interview with drug lord El Chapo. Now comes the actor’s latest directorial effort, which many critics have described as the bomb of the Cannes Film Festival.

On Friday, Penn was in Cannes to debut a romantic drama called “The Last Face.” According to an Australian news outlet, the screening audience reacted with unintended laughter during the movie, and with boos once the credits began to roll. Things were reportedly just as awkward between Penn and his ex-fiance Charlize Theron, who stars in the film. According to some accounts, Penn and Theron could barely look at each other during a festival press session.

Theron and Javier Bardem play aid workers who fall in love in African war zones. Did the critics hate it on Twitter.

From Dave Calhoun, global film editor at Time Out: “Sean Penn’s THE LAST FACE: awful. Pompous romance with human suffering as wallpaper. Pleads empathy with Africa. Zero real black characters.”

And from critic Jason Gorber: “Sean Penn’s THE LAST FACE – A risible disaster, all the more tragic for butchering serious and vital tale. Amateur, appalling cannes2016.”

This scorcher came from Guy Lodge, Variety’s U.K. reviewer, who speculated about whether the film led to the breakup: “Is it possible Charlize Theron saw a rough cut of THE LAST FACE and then ended things with Sean Penn? I would.”

The bad reviews, coupled with what the Daily Beast called Theron’s “guarded stares” at her ex, may have accomplished the impossible: making us feel sorry for Penn.

– From news service reports