Just when I thought the movie was going to be intense enough just starring a real life couple, Angelina Jolie reveals By The Sea is about her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, specifically her relationship with her mother. Even more specifically, her relationship with grief after the death of her mother. Ouch. Bertrand died in 2007 at just 56 years old after struggling with ovarian cancer for over seven years, a battle which informed Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy in 2013, and to have her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed in March of 2015. Suffice it to say, Bertrand's memory is with Jolie every day.
She's also spoken at length about what a wonderful human being Bertrand was — and the freshness of her grief even eight years later is just below the surface as she explains her inspiration for By The Sea, which will be released Nov. 13:
I wrote By The Sea because i wanted to explore grief. Much of the film and my character is very much about my mother and my feelings about my mother. When the bartender speaks, and speaks about loss, that's how I reflect on her. Her death.
The line she seems to be referring to is spoken by Neils Arestrup, who plays the bartender and tells Pitt's character that, "If you really love someone, you want more for them than you want for yourself," and that sensation seems to be all over not only this particular interview with People, but the entire trailer, now that my eyes have been opened to it. It's not a movie about a relationship between a man and a woman — I only saw that because Brangelina are together in real life. It's about the relationship between all of us and pain.
Everybody in the film represents a different way of addressing grief. Some have yet to experience it, some are able to come to terms with it and some are overwhelmed by it.
Oh man. This makes me so anxious for the movie, and I mean that in the full sense of the word, both the negative and positive connotations. I'm interested to see it on an an artistic level, now that I know what it's speaking to, and also dreading the pit of sadness in my belly that I'm going to walk away with. And, if you don't think the same thing is going to happen to you, just listen to the tone in Jolie's voice during this interview. That should do it.
Image: Universal Pictures