Roland (Brad Pitt), left, comforts Vanessa (Angelina Jolie Pitt) in a scene from "By the Sea."
Universal Pictures via AP
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A marriage on the rocks in By the SeaHow do we picture the private lives of Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt? Married 14 years and childless, Vanessa, a former dancer, and Roland, a struggling writer, arrive – not with the jaunty lightness of the opening – but as if seeking a shore on which to hurl their on-the-rocks marriage.The single-tear moments of sadness, the overdone presence of props (so many cigarettes and hats!) and the sometimes stilted dialogue make for a curiously wooden atmosphere that eventually stifles the considerable star-power of Pitt and Jolie Pitt.Like Jolie Pitt's previous directorial efforts ("In the Land of Blood and Honey," "Unbroken"), "By the Sea" is flawed but ambitious, certainly aiming for something distinctive and honest.
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