A movie you might not want to see but should

Story by Liz Ptasynski, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of


There are some movies that you see that seem to linger in your brain while others falter to the background, as if you didn’t spend $10 for it in the first place. When I got to Celebration Cinema to see By the Sea, I wasn’t sure which one I was going to get. However, after the end credit started rolling I was shocked at how just how much the movie stuck with me.

Allow this to be a disclaimer, I am not a Branjelina fan by any means (I mean how could I after what they did to Jennifer Aniston, but I digress). So when I heard that this movie starred both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, I expected to go and absolutely loathe it. But as the movie, directed by Jolie, progressed I found myself more and more intrigued at the unique concept.

Taken place in the 1970’s, the movie had a slow start. And I was sure at that point that there was no way it was going to get better. Within the first couple minutes the audience meets Vanessa and Roland­­, a couple who’s relationship has begun to lack luster. Both are struggling artists and have seem to let that distract them from their marriage.

As the movie goes on you learn that the couple has been married for fourteen years, though observing them you can’t help but question how they managed so long, with their demeanor toward one another cold and you have trouble imagining when they were happy together because they seem so miserable now.

As an attempt to ignite a “spark” in their relationship they travel to a remote seaside French town and stay at a local hotel. Their disinterest starts to fade away when a newlywed couple rents a room next door to them. At first Vanessa cares nothing for them until she discovers a hole in the wall where she begins spy on them. She watches their interactions and finds herself drawn into their relationship. It isn’t long before Rolland himself discovers the hole. Unlike a normal couple who would probably patch it up immediately, the two use this as a way to get closer. Together they spy on the couple and even go as far to have dinner at the same time as them, as if they are having it with them.

Despite it’s slow moving parts, the movie is beautiful: there is no doubt about that. The acting was more than believable and the cinematography was exquisite. There is something so delicate in the tragedy that is their relationship and you find yourself drawn to it.

I would by no means recommend By the Sea for a date night nor a family movie day, but perhaps when it hits Netflix and you’re cuddled in bed alone.

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