Angelina Jolie releases 'By the Sea,' as lack of female directors stirs discussion

Jolie is one of the most high-profile female directors working today. Meanwhile, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission is interviewing female directors about possible discrimination.

Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures/AP
'By the Sea' stars Brad Pitt (l.) and Angelina Jolie (r.).

Actress Angelina Jolie’s newest directing effort, “By the Sea,” will hit theaters on Nov. 13. 

“Sea” stars Jolie and Brad Pitt as a married couple who are living in Malta in the 1970s and struggling in their marriage. The new movie follows Jolie’s last film that she directed, the 2014 movie “Unbroken,” which was based on the nonfiction bestseller of the same name and told the story of Louis Zamperini and his experiences in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. The inspiring story was released during the holidays last year and did well at the box office, though reviews were mostly negative.

Jolie’s previous directing work also includes the 2011 movie “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” She has starred in many films, including the 2014 Disney box office hit “Maleficent,” and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in the movie “Girl, Interrupted.”

Many reviews for “Sea” have not been released yet, but those that have been published have been mostly negative. Variety critic Justin Chang writes that the movie “struggles to turn its own beautiful inertia into a virtue… meandering and overlong… the film ultimately feels too dramatically reductive and obvious to pull off its desired cocktail of Albee and Antonioni.” Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter came to a similar conclusion, writing that “two hours is far too long to make an audience wait for a payoff that is hardly about to save the film from its own stasis and dramatic flatness.” 

Jolie releases her newest movie as a possible lawsuit against the film industry concerning the lack of female film and TV directors moves forward. Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency, began speaking with various female directors to see if there is reason for a class-action lawsuit concerning discrimination against women working as directors. Earlier this year, the ACLU encouraged the EEOC to examine the lack of women directors in Hollywood. 

In 2014, fewer than five percent of the big studio movies were directed by women and 16 percent of the TV directing jobs were given to women. 

Director Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the best director Oscar for her 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker” and is still the only one to have received the honor. Some believed director Ava DuVernay would receive a directing nomination for her work on the 2014 film “Selma,” but she did not make the list, an omission that angered many. “Selma” was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Angelina Jolie releases 'By the Sea,' as lack of female directors stirs discussion
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Culture-Cafe/2015/1106/Angelina-Jolie-releases-By-the-Sea-as-lack-of-female-directors-stirs-discussion
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe