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
By the Sea (2015) reportedly cost $10 mill. to produce, but only recouped $531.009 at the US box office. This was actually a respectable result for a limited art house release. It is not known, if the feature was a financial success in the end, but since it was sold to most territories worldwide and released on TV, BluRay and VOD, it probably broke even. See more »
During one of his drinking binges, Roland (Brad Pitt) knocks his shot glass off the counter, and clumsily wipes up the mess. During the following conversation with the bartender, the shot glass is missing, then reappears on the counter in front of Roland, then is missing again. See more »
If you really love someone, you want more for them than you want for yourself. Do you understand?
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The film opens with the early 1970's Universal Pictures logo. See more »
The notes of Chopin's Prelude in E Minor at the end neatly summarizes this stale, borrowed and unoriginal film. That prelude is so over used as to be a calling card of sophomore sensibility. Then again, it fits perfectly within the overdone story: the Midi of France, of exile and difference, of finding some true self in a marriage, and of the libido and voyeurism.
The dramatic conceit - if it has one - is owed in part to Godard's "Contempt": the hat that Pitt wears is like Piccoli's in the 1963 film; a struggling writer too, together with the marriage that suffers from some tacit fault line which only the wife knows and can cure.
In "Contempt" it had another cause, in this project it is some delusion which has struck the writer in the vain belief that she can write, and consequently serve a thread of scenes which can be presented as a film.
The first half is turgid and requires some intrigue to hold attention, but instead the audience has the face of Jolie pouting behind huge sunglasses and a Bardot-style brimmed hat with the sulking expression of a 3 year old. Pitt takes over in this portion of the film and drinks heavily and mumbles French. Going to the bar is preferable to the hotel and his wife.
In the second hour the movie wakes up but seems entangled, for no other reason, in a "menage a quatre", to give it some plot and direction. It falls apart quickly though because the writing is inane. Locations, sun and sea, and some unshaven locals fill in the running time, but to be realistic, it hasn't fulfilled anything and it's been pointless.
Then Chopin's prelude is added to the closing images and we comprehend the full mediocrity of the vision.
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