By the Sea

Character: Vanessa
Original Release: November 5, 2015 (US)
Directed by: Angelina Jolie
Written by: Angelina Jolie
Produced by: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt
Running Time: 122 minutes
Box Office: $531,009 (US)

Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.

Cast & Characters

Brad Pitt (Roland), Mélanie Laurent (Lea), Melvil Poupaud (François), Niels Arestrup (Michel), Richard Bohringer (Patrice), Marika Green (Dress Shop Saleswoman), Sarah Naudi (Grocery Clerk)

Photo Gallery
Filming Dates: September 8, 2014 - November 15, 2014
Filming Locations:
  • Mgarr ix-Xini, Gozo, Malta
  • Gozo Island, Malta
  • Gharb, Gozo Island, Malta (street scenes)
  • Ta' Frenc Restaurant, Gozo, Malta (interiors)
  • Mgarr-Ix-Xini Fjord, Gozo Island, Malta (exterior scenes)
  • The film opens with the early 1970's Universal Pictures logo.
  • Director and writer Angelina Jolie about the period setting: "I chose to set 'By the Sea' in the 1970s, not only because it is a colorful and alluring era, but because it removes many of the distractions of contemporary life and allows the focus to remain squarely on the emotions that the characters experience in their journey."
  • Filming took place during Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's honeymoon.
  • This is the second movie that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt starred together in and the first one was Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) were they first met.
  • Angelina Jolie has over a dozen tattoos all over her body, instead of being hidden by makeup, most have been removed in post production using CGI digital opticals and visual effects.
  • This is the first film to credit Angelina Jolie as "Angelina Jolie Pitt".
  • The couple portrayed by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are named Vanessa and Roland Bertrand after Angelina Jolie's mother Marcheline Bertrand.
  • This is the second joint collaboration between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as a couple. The first one being A Mighty Heart (2007), in which Jolie played the lead and Pitt was the producer.

Memorable Quotes

Vanessa: Do you see that fisherman? He goes out every day, comes back every night. Hardly catches any fish. What keeps him from going insane? From being so tired of it all? What is it we don't know?

Roland: You resist happiness.
Vanessa: Don't quote some book and try to analyze my life.
Roland: You don't resist happiness?
Vanessa: Are you trying to illustrate your point by making me unhappy?

Vanessa: Now my outsides match my insides.

Quotes from Cast & Crew

"I wrote it before I ever had anything I'd written become a film, and I wrote with a great freedom of believing nobody would ever see it. I wanted to understand grief; and I think because of my mother's passing and certain aspects of her life where she was very unfulfilled as an artist and as a woman - I wanted to meditate on that, and have the freedom to work thinking of film, not thinking of the audience, not thinking of what would be commercial, not thinking of how to answer everything but just to be in a place with these people. And so I picked three different couples that represented a different time: one who had yet to experience it, one couple who were sitting right in the middle of it and then the two older men who have come out the other end of it and understand it and so I just drove one couple up to a hotel and then wrote from the beginning to the end."
- Angelina Jolie

"You write with what you know in your mind, so I wrote a little bit with us in my head - I'm a woman of Vanessa's age and this is a marriage and marriage is familiar - and I first showed it to Brad years ago, we talked about it and he was very supportive, but it was kind of that "funny, crazy one" that was just on my desk, and it was almost referred to as the one you'd never do - you know, "That would be a crazy idea!" - but at a certain point I think as artists we all get to that place where we want to do the crazy one, and we want to not feel safe and we want to remember what it is to just play and maybe we make a mess but we want to remember what it is to be free, and so I think we were feeling that and wanted to just go out and be together and work together and try something and succeed or fail, we wanted to do it together."
- Angelina Jolie, on working with Brad Pitt

"The '70s was such an extraordinary time for film and politics, and I was born in the '70s so I think you're always interested in when you were younger, and what your parents might have been like, and what that time was, and your reference point....but I found it a really compelling time for art and there was a certain freedom in films at that time and certain films of that time I think also discussed very heavy things. So, in a way, there wasn't a particular film that I was trying to copy, but there was a feeling that if I could just allow myself to remember those films and the time they took, and the nuance and the heaviness of the, it was inspiring."
- Angelina Jolie

“A piece of art can be something that’s healing or something that’s difficult. I don’t know. I’m glad we did that film because we did explore something together. Whatever it was maybe it didn’t solve certain things, but we did communicate something that needed to be communicated to each other.”
- Angelina Jolie

“There was a heaviness probably during that situation that carried on and it wasn’t because of the film,” Jolie says. “It was something that we were dealing…things happen for different reasons, and things…why did I write that exact piece? Why did we feel that way when we made it? I’m not sure.”
- Angelina Jolie

Awards & Nominations

Jupiter Award - Best International Actor - Brad Pitt
Women Film Critics Circle Awards - Courage in Filmmaking Award - Angelina Jolie