When we first heard that W was planning a sixty-page pictorial featuring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, we wondered what could possibly justify that many pages. Sure, they’re both extraordinarily gorgeous people. Yes, their chemistry is undeniable. We saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which was two hours of sexy banter, and we still couldn’t imagine that 60 pages could be compelling.
We were wrong.
When we actually persused the portfolio by Steven Klein, we were stunned. “Domestic Bliss,” in the July 2005 issue, tells the story of a collapsing marriage, a theme Pitt suggested before there was even a drop of tabloid ink spilled about his separation and pending divorce. The photos are epic yet flawed–out of focus here, a bit grainy there. Many could be mistaken for snapshots except that no one is acknowledging the camera.
But you’re never able to forget these are movie stars play-acting.
There are Jolie’s tattoos, for instance, on full display. There are Pitt’s abs–do you know any suburban dads with stomachs like that? And a few of the shots–Jolie reaching across Pitt’s sleeping body for the gun under his pillow–are a little too artfully composed, what with Pitt’s hands being down his pants.
And there is the overall glamour–Jolie’s wool cape in the backyard and feathered dress in the living room, the artful disarray of the food spilled under the dinner table.
In an interview accompanying the piece, Pitt says, “You don’t know what’s wrong, because the marriage is everything you signed up for.” We wonder if what the pictures show–an overwhelming sense of glamour and decay–is what he anticipated in real life. If so, he couldn’t help but be disappointed.