Sunday, July 31, 2016



nytimes

In ‘By the Sea,’ Brangelina Knows Ennui


Angelina Jolie in “By the Sea,” a film she wrote and directed now out on DVD. Credit Universal Pictures

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt may be superstars, but their movie, “By the Sea,” which opened in November 2015, earned only a bit more than $500,000 at the American box office. That said, there is a lot to admire in the recently released DVD edition, which can now be seen on several on-demand platforms.

Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt play an unhappily married American couple on vacation at a small seaside hotel in the south of France in the 1970s. Through a hole in the wall, they become voyeurs peering avidly at their rapturously happy newlywed neighbors (Mélanie Laurent and Melvil Poupaud) having sex. Ms. Jolie, who wrote and directed this exercise in languid, upscale despair, is a dead ringer for Monica Vitti, Michelangelo Antonioni’s long-suffering alter ego in “L’Avventura,” “La Notte,” “L’Eclisse” and “Red Desert.” It makes for a touching homage.

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