Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie at last night’s screening for “In The Land of Blood and Honey” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Photo by Erik Eucke.
Here’s the thing. Having had no pre-premiere drinks or snacks, you sit through two hours and ten minutes of a film that is in Serbo-Croatian with subtitles, okay but not great, and above all unrelentingly dark and brutal, and the expectation is to maybe slip out of the after-party as quickly as possible. After all, both the screening and the party for In the Land of Blood and Honey are in the Holocaust Museum. How rockin’ can they be? And the featured attractions, director Angelina Jolie and her partner, Brad Pitt, are off at Charlie Palmer Steak having dinner. Jolie introduced the film and then they left, and they’re not back. It’s late. There’s a lot of looking at watches in the milling crowd, parked in a room that feels like Treblinka with candlelight and canapes. The ample buffet tables are laid with sweets and fruit. But there’s no sign of Brangelina.
But then there they are, side by side, positioned in the corner of the room. It’s 10:30 PM, and for the next hour or more two of the most famous movie stars in the world make themselves utterly available to every guest, every camera, every dopey accolade, inquiry, and comment. At one point Jolie is surrounded by such a thick swarm of men (and a few women) that only the top of her head appears above the pinstriped shoulders of her admirers. Boyden Gray inches his way to her and then hovers. Georgetown University president Jack DeGioia poses for a picture, thoughtfully including his wife. Jolie smiles, smiles, smiles, pulling people in, taking their hands with one of hers, cradling in the other what appears to be a glass of red wine.