By the Sea (2015) R-18

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.
- Written by Production

There were many reasons why I chose not to blog about this, but here I am writing this entry anyway.

The story was so-so.  I have seen a lot of these types of films while growing up and when I didn't know better, I wrote a lot of these types of films before and I burned the most unedifying ones.

Watching this movie made me miss my typewriter.  I wrote better stories using my handy-dandy typewriter, except the ones I showed to that ______ awardee.  Which one?  I won't say because I purposely showed him the worst things I have written.  

Back to the story written by Mrs. Pitt herself...

Dad really wanted to watch this movie.  Mom, if she had a choice, wouldn't even dare to watch this.  She read the reviews and most of the critics were lambasting it.  She just kept quiet, but was grumbling inside.

I wanted to give it a chance because dad was so insistent.

The place where they shot the movie is beautiful.  If you would dig deeper and just focus on the love Roland has for an emotionally scarred Vanessa, then you may enjoy this movie.  Otherwise, this would only be a movie about voyeurism for you.

Moviegoers, in a sense, are all voyeurs.  When we're really into the story, then everything seems real.  When everything seems real, it is like we're actually there, inside the privacy of their rooms.

In all fairness, as a director who is also a woman, even with all those lovemaking and disrobing, Mrs. Pitt "protected" her co-star, Melanie Laurent, by using the proper lighting.  Coming to think of it, Ms. Laurent is French, and probably doesn't need "protection", but still she's a woman and we could never generalize, right?  

The critics already published all the negative aspects of this film, so let's just focus on the positive. 

I like the wisdom of Michel(Arestrup) and his dialogue(s) with Roland.  I also like his friendship with Patrice(Bohringer).  Patrice also is wise.  He does not look back, but instead he keeps moving forward.  To be unstuck with the past requires a lot of courage and strength.  Yes, indeed.

I also like the fact that Francois(Poupaud) and Lea(Laurent) really love each other.  Even when the former was tempted, he showed his love by being truthful to Lea.

There also was an old couple who have loved each other for more than fifty(50) years and they were so beautiful to watch.  Forever is indeed possible. 

Before I forget there was also a lesson learned regarding the fisherman Vanessa was intrigued about, as my dad noted(based on something Roland said): With all the complexity in life, the simple life of the fisherman may be the saving grace--going along with the ebb of the tide and not against the current makes him appreciate the beauty life brings whether he catches fish or not. 

The movie could have been more exciting, I know, but I think Mrs. Pitt treated this film like an abstract painting.  Something beautiful, but only a few would "get it" or appreciate it.  It's her work of art.  It doesn't matter if it gets sold or not, but she's mighty proud of her work.

Michel, the Bar Keeper: If you really love someone, you want more for them than you want for yourself. Do you understand?

Guess what?!?  Later I learned that dad thought we bought tickets for the MOBY DICK movie:  In the Heart of the Sea.


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