Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in...
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A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner. Written by
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt married on August 23, 2014 in Château Miraval, the couple's estate in France. By the Sea (2015) marks the first time since the wedding that they appear together in a feature film - ironically again as a married couple in France, mirroring their real life to a certain degree. See more »
Roland is seen writing with both left and right hand in alternating scenes. See more »
I figured out your fisherman. He goes with the tide. You let it pull you out to sea or guide you back in. Sometimes you have to move with it. Sometimes, honey, that's all we can do.
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Ultra slow-moving relationship drama finds a pulse in the second half
"By The Sea" (2015 release; 122 min.) brings the story of married couple Roland (played by Brad Pitt) and Vanessa (played by Angeline Jolie). As the move opens, we see them driving in a gorgeous 1960s Citroen convertible somewhere in the south of France, while Jane Birkin's "Jane B" is blasting on the radio. Roland and Vanessa find an agreeable spot close by the sea and decide to stay there. Eventually another married couple (some years younger, though) ends up in the hotel room next to Vanessa and Roland, not aware that Vanessa found a peep hole, allowing them to look in the other room. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the third movie in the last 3 years directed by Angelina Jolie (she also wrote the script), but the first one where she directs herself (and Brad). It's been exactly 10 years since Angelina and Brad co-starred (ironically also in a struggling marriage, but of a very different kind!). If it sounds from my introductory lines that a lot is happening in the movie, think again. This is an ultra-slow moving film. You would think that this would allow us to get to know these characters, but alas, that is not the case either. We know virtually nothing as to why the marriage is in trouble, and can only speculate why Vanessa seems depressed, if not worse, and why Roland is experiencing writer's block. Despite all that, the movie does find some traction in the second half, just in the nick of time, frankly. The movie's photography is drop-dead gorgeous (filmed in Malta, that stood in as the south of France). The movie features a number of big French movie stars, including Melvil Poupaud and the beautiful Melanie Laurent (as the other married couple) and Niels Arestrup (as the café tender). There is a ton of great music featured in the movie, both in the musical score, as well as French songs from that era (think Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Jacques Dutronc, Sheila, etc.).
"By The Sea" opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and since I don't expect this to play in theaters very long, I went to see it right away. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended dismally (4 people, including myself). I can't say it surprised me as the vibe around this movie has not been great. I nevertheless was curious about it (due to a clever trailer, frankly). If you are interested in catching a slow-moving relationship drama that is way off-center, I encourage you this give this a try, be it in the theater (better hurry!), on VAD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
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