Some viewers will go to "By the Sea" because of its famous stars: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who also wrote and directed the film. Fewer will embrace the slow, quiet, meticulously staged story of two damaged individuals. Roland struggles to revive his writing career, escaping into alcohol. An aging dancer, Vanessa languishes in a depressed state buttressed by pills.
Director/co-writer Eric Lartigau’s film “The Big Picture” poses a knotted series of problems regarding identity, anonymity and fame. More a theoretical interrogation than a richly delivered story, the plot begins with self-satisfied Parisian lawyer Paul Exben slow to realize his wife Sarah has enjoyed an affair with long-time friend Grégoire and now wants a divorce.