Wednesday, November 4, 2015










Angelina Jolie Pitt’s new drama, By the Sea, promises to be a deeply personal film, but not because its portrayal of a marriage on the rocks is somehow reflective of her own relationship with costar and husband Brad Pitt.

Rather, as Jolie explains in a new video exclusive to EW and People, the 1970s-set film was largely inspired by her sorrow over losing her mother, the actress Marcheline Bertrand, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007.

“I wrote By the Sea because I wanted to explore grief,” Jolie Pitt says. “Much of the film and my character is very much about my mother, and my feelings about my mother. When the bartender speaks, and speaks about loss, that’s how I reflect on her. That’s how I feel about her, her death.”

The film centers on an American writer (Pitt) and his wife (Jolie Pitt) who arive in a picturesque seaside resort in France, spend time with fellow travelers and locals, and begin to confront unresolved issues in their lives. (Niels Arestrup portrays the bartender.)

“Everybody in the film represents a different way of addressing grief,” Jolie Pitt explains. “Some have yet to experience it, some are able to come to terms with it, and some are overwhelmed by it.”

Jolie says she hopes the movie will leave audiences with something to chew on. “I love films that make you walk away thinking and still trying to put the pieces together.”

By the Sea will have its world premiere at AFI FEST on Nov. 5 before opening in theaters Nov. 13. Watch the behind-the-scenes video above.





11/04/2015 AT 09:00 AM EST
Angelina Jolie Pitt is giving us a sneak peek at her new film, By the Sea, and revealing the intimate backstory behind the film's inspiration.

"I wrote By the Sea because I wanted to explore grief," Jolie Pitt explains in a behind-the-scenes clip exclusive to PEOPLE and EW.

"Much of the film and my character are very much about my mother and my feelings about my mother," she adds.

Jolie Pitt's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, lost her 7½-year battle with ovarian cancer in 2007. In a joint statement, the actress and her brother James Haven told PEOPLE at the time, "There are no words to express what an amazing woman and mother she was. She was our best friend."

In the film, a barkeep played by Niels Arestrup tells Pitt's character, "If you really love someone, you want more for them than you want for yourself." Speaking on the scene, Jolie Pitt says, "When the bartender speaks, and speaks about loss, that's how I reflect on her."

According to Jolie, who wrote the script, "Everybody in the film represents a different way of addressing grief. Some have yet to experience it, some are able to come to terms with it and some are overwhelmed by it."

Arestrup, who's interviewed in the clip, adds, "It's very daring on her part to have attempted this more experimental, even more marginal adventure, in which she is undoubtedly saying something which has lingered in her head and lingered in her heart."

Pitt also commends his wife for writing a non-traditional narrative. "What Angie's written is a very European film," he says in the clip. "It's sparse, very elegant in it's telling."

Jolie adds that when working with independent style films, "You can leave things open unanswered because that’s life."












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