Saturday, February 24, 2024

Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt Vanity Film Debuts to Scathing Reviews in Hollywood


And so, here it is. Angelina Jolie’s attempt to write and direct a film for herself and husband Brad Pitt finally debuted officially last night in Hollywood. It’s a turkey for Thanksgiving, apparently.

“By the Sea” has already received devastating reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Wrap. More are on the way.

Variety: “Likely to meet with some audience curiosity upon its initial rollout Nov. 13, though not enough to sustain a strong commercial showing…Over the course of the film’s leisurely two-hour running time, it’s possible to be moved in fits and starts by stray scenes from this marriage — particularly when Roland tenderly cradles a sobbing Vanessa in the shower — but in an almost entirely abstract, depersonalized way…”

Todd McCarthy: “This languid piece of would-be art cinema will prove once again that even the biggest names in the world won’t draw an audience to something that, in and of itself, has no reason for being.”

This sounds like a cross between the two worst recent movies ever made (at least my picks), the utterly stifling “Gerry” by Gus van Sant and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in “Gigli.”

The really crazy part of this is that Pitt and Jolie, who abhor publicity, have given a bunch of interviews about their personal lives in order to lure audiences to a film no one will see. It was a waste of soul baring. If only they had advisers who could have counseled them.

Meantime Universal, knowing how bad this all is, managed to screen the movie twice in New York this week but keep it away from commenters. The studio can afford to absorb this since they’ve had a record box office year already from several hits including “Jurassic World.” More power to them in forging relationships with the high wattage couple for future, more lucrative projects.

And Angelina? She’s a good director, and she’ll be back. This too shall be forgotten.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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