Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt

Jacopo Raule/FilmMagic

Cannes 2011 tile

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie caused a crowd frenzy in Cannes with the simple act of holding hands. OK, make that the two most famous and perfect-looking people on the planet were holding hands.

The duo's PDA was on display as they visited a French restaurant last night and had a romantic meal, perhaps celebrating the announcement that Jolie's directorial debut was picked up by a distributor and the premiere of Pitt's latest prestige pic, the Terrence Malick-helmed The Tree of Life.

So who purchased Jolie's controversial film on the Bosnian War? And what did the reviewers say about Pitt's performance?

First Jolie's movie, which is set during the Bosnian War and focusing on a fictional romance between a Bosnian woman and a Serbian man. The film made headlines for its trouble-plagued shoot. The production was initially banned from being filmed in Sarajevo after Bosnian officials had concerns with the script, then it wrapped early in the country and decamped to Budapest.

Well, after months of calling the movie variations on Untitled Angelina Jolie Project, we have learned that the official title is In the Land of Blood and Honey and it will be released by FilmDistrict, a subsidiary of GK Films, in the U.S. on Dec. 23.

Meanwhile, Pitt's latest endeavor is earning decidedly mix notices. Sure, his flicks tend to polarize critics, but there have been huge expectations this time out, seeing that he's starring with Sean Penn in a drama by the iconoclastic Malick, who has made just five movies in his 40-year career and whose rare output usually sends critics into a tizzy.

The Hollywood Reporter likens the movie to 2001: A Space Odyssey, claiming Tree is "hardly a movie for the masses and will polarize even buffs." But the review goes on to say that there are "great, heady" things in the film, "both obvious and evanescent," that will qualify it as an "exceptional and major film." And the trade hails Pitt's performance as one of his fines.

Variety calls the movie an "extraordinary" and "transfixing" through time and memory.

And then there are the outright haters.

Entertainment Weekly gave Tree a big thumbs-down, describing the movie as a sermon that goes off on too many tangents.

Movieline bashed it, too, calling the film a "gargantuan work of pretension and cleverly concealed self absorption" in which Malick pays more attention to the gorgeous photography than he does to the characters.

Either way, it's generating major Oscar buzz for Pitt—besides, he gets to make googly eyes at Angelina Jolie over dinner on the Riviera, so it's really a no-lose deal.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share