Angelina Jolie has come a long way. Once upon a time she was an outward goth teen, then a bonafide moviestar. Now she fancies herself as a respectable filmmaker as the first trailer for her new film, By the Sea a relationship drama/thriller starring herself opposite husband Brad Pitt is released.As the opening bars of Harry Nilsson's Perfect Day play over a retro Universal Pictures logo, we know this is going to be something different. The setting is vaguely 70's, the location an equally enigmatic south of France. Pitt and Jolie play a couple with their marriage in shambles. The 'vacation' seems like a last-ditch effort to salvage it.
Watch the trailer here
What strikes us immediately is the fact that this is another one of those mood-pieces: Teasers armed with nothing more than a solid drive to set the tone. Nothing more, nothing less. There is barely any dialogue, just shots of Pitt and Jolie, framed mostly in isolation. When they come together they erupt. There is frighteningly violent undertone to the film, it seems. It will have you longing for the innocence of Before Midnight.
The irony of setting such a raw tale in one of the most beautiful places of Earth is a little too on-the-nose, but it does give Jolie an excuse to play around with some stunning visuals. The location is isolated, the sets limited. The only time Pitt seems to relax in this paradise is when he's with an elderly guest at the resort played by Jacques Audiard favourite Niels Arestrup.
Angelina Jolie's three films as director are all wildly diverse. Her filmography includes a war-movie set in mid-nineties Serbia, a World-War II survival epic and now a deeply claustrophobic relationship drama.By the Sea also stars Mélanie Laurent, Niels Arestrup, Melvil Poupaud, and Richard Bohringer. It is expected in theatres on November, 13.
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