BY THE SEA
Cast: Angelina Jolie Pitt, Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup Richard Bohringer
Written & Directed By: Angelina Jolie Pitt
Angelina Jolie writes and directs her third movie behind the camera, whilst also playing the lead role opposite her husband (Brad Pitt) of fourteen years, a claim made also in the film. The celebrity couple have moved on from just being in front of the camera to taking on new roles with even Pitt producing a few of her movies, joining a new league of actors who have taken the role of multi tasking. Jolie has shown her caliber for directing in films like In the Land of Blood and Honey and Unbroken, which sadly did not have a very good time at the box office. Her newest feature By the Sea lies in the same vein and literally drags on. Her attempt at bringing marital drama to the big screen is admirable, but the whole plot gets you disillusioned in the first half hour. Besides the sordid plot By the Sea, otherwise is full of beautiful scenery, music, amazing hotels and the marvelous deep blue Maltese waters not forgetting quaint taverns.
We have our famous couple, Roland (Pitt) a writer and his wife former dancer Vanessa (Jolie), driving down the slopes of the Maltese island of Gozo in a tranquil and picturesque seaside hotel in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis. Roland decides to travel until he has written a new book. They used to be happy together, but seem to have gradually drifted apart over the years.
Things start to liven up when a honeymooning couple, Lea (Laurent) and Francois (Poupaud), check in to the room next door. Through a hole in the wall between their rooms, Vanessa and Roland start observing their neighbours intimacy and, soon enough, passionate and frequent lovemaking. It reminds them of how they used to be. Mingling with the locals also brings about a change. Soon the couple begins to come to terms with unresolved issues, strengthening their bond and their marriage. Pitt and Jolie’s act of naughty peephole voyeurism is enjoyable.
— Verus Ferreira