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Watch Brad and Angelina Jolie Pitt abuse each other in By the Sea trailer

Brad and Angelina Jolie Pitt appear to have a relationship as solid as two uber-rich megastars with a dozen or so children could, but you wouldn’t know it by the trailer for their new movie By the Sea. As Jon Lovitz would put it, let’s hope for their sake the images on screen are nothing more than “Acting!”

In Jolie and Pitt’s first film together since 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, they play a couple coming to terms with difficulties in their marriage while vacationing in 1970s France. When Vanessa (Jolie, who is also the film’s director) and her husband Roland (Pitt) spend some time in a quiet, seaside town, the strings of the marriage — and their lives — begin to fall apart.

“This is a story about a relationship derailed by loss, the tenacity of love and the path to recovery and acceptance,” said Jolie in a statement. “It’s been a privilege to explore these universal human experiences with such a generous and talented cast and crew.”

The trailer begins with Vanessa and Roland arriving at a hotel, both of them obviously unhappy. Midway through, Vanessa thinks about a past interaction with her husband. “Are we ever going to talk about it?” he asks her. “Do you hate me?”

After she replies, “you know my reason” and Roland asks her to “hurt” him, we see Vanessa physically lashing out at her husband.

The film was shot in Malta while Jolie and Pitt were on their own real-life honeymoon — how’s that for a test of a relationship? In an interview with the Directors Guild of America, Jolie explained what it was like to direct herself and her husband in a film that portrayed them as an unhappy couple.

“I’d be directing myself and him in a scene where we’re having a fight, and I’d be pulling out the parts [of him] that have an aggress towards me or when you’re frustrated,” said Jolie. “We kept joking that all of the crew felt like they were living in a house where the parents were fighting and you don’t know where to stand or look.”

Considering Jolie called the project “art film, the kind of film that I like to see but not something I’m usually cast in,” it should be interesting to see what kind of a response it gets.

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