By The Sea (2015)
Critic Consensus: By the Sea may intrigue celebrity voyeurs or fans of a certain type of arthouse cinema, but for most viewers, its beauty won't be enough to offset its narrative inertia.
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as Bar Keeper
as Grocery Clerk
as Hotel Owner
as Dress Shop Saleswoman
as Maitre D'
as Hotel Receptionist
as Older Couple
as Fancy Couple at Café
as Fancy Couple at Café
as Waiter in Café
as Café Cat
as Child in Hotel
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Critic Reviews for By The Sea
It's a fascinating experiment, and proof that Jolie truly has directorial chops and an extraordinary eye for imagery.
The actors aren't unhinged enough for the scathing conceit, and the script is more of a mechanism than a revelation.
The point to all this seems to be life is cruel and people are jerks, but sometimes very good-looking jerks. Deep.
What are the artistic purposes for this tedious collection of frowning, drinking, bickering, peeping and smoking scenes? "By the Sea" is long on perverse images but short on ideas.
Pitt invests the vague, cranky relationship with his usual intelligence and restraint, but the movie is destined to rank with such celebrity-couple fiascos as Gigli (2003) and Shanghai Surprise (1986).
Audience Reviews for By The Sea
Yes the movie is a self-indulgent vanity project, but it's worst crime is being unbearably boring. If you're looking for a campy train wreck, you'll be sorely disappointed. Jolie seems to be trying to stylistically imitate a lavish, sad European art film but ends up with something a little closer to a Louis Vuitton commercial.
Fans of the two leads will appreciate this tongue-in-cheek double decker of a work that's clever fulcrum is the device of peeping an unknowing couple while we are in fact peeping perhaps the most peeped couple on the planet currently. We languor in a little French seaside resort town with a pair outwardly content but inwardly troubled. They are one good looking pair, you betcha, and the resort town struggles to keep pace as there are plenty of pensively-staring-out-into-the-distance shots (sunrise, sunset, nighttime, the full gamut). The tale is less interesting, yet and still not by very much. AND there's Brad and Angelina. Kiss. Kiss.
It's clear there is a driving force of sorts behind Angelina Jolie Pitt's (who I'll simply refer to as Jolie throughout this review because I'm not typing Jolie Pitt three hundred times) writing and direction, it's just not clear what that force is. While I never saw her debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, last year's insanely promising but ultimately disappointing Unbroken more or less set the prospects for any future Jolie pictures to that of being hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic. While the less than enthusiastic response to Unbroken must have been a blow to not only the writer/directors ego, but to the faith she has in herself and her abilities it seems her reaction has been to return to the forum with a much lower-key project, inspired by the films of yesteryear and containing only a select number of characters. Jolie sets her film in the seventies and then isolates her characters to a French Riviera where this character study is almost forced into existence. Taking the idea of a strained marriage and somewhat bravely allowing such a dysfunctional portrait to be painted with herself and real life husband Brad Pitt in the roles Jolie goes for a restrained and bleakly artistic look at two people at the end of their ropes for reasons we're not exactly clear on. In fact, while I can appreciate a good slow burn, By the Sea is such a staggering epic of quietness and indulgence that the boredom overtakes the measured emotions by the time the twenty minute mark hits. The problem is the quiet characters and their inability to communicate make it difficult for the viewer to find anything interesting or worth investing in about them and thus the patience wears thin before the film ever glimpses it's portions that might seem interesting. There is a good movie in here somewhere, no doubt, a wholly engaging film about the natural dynamics of a seasoned couple and how the dealings of going through something unbelievably difficult while initially testing their bond might eventually lead to an even stronger one. Unfortunately, By the Sea is too generous with the amount of time we spend with this couple and too tedious in the events it depicts to be that film. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
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