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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: rethinking Jolie

If there is perhaps one single actor about whom I have more thoroughly revised my opinion in the last year or two, it’s Angelina Jolie. From my review of Alexander, some of which no longer applies:

Most of those come in the scenes between Colin Farrell, as the boy conqueror, and Angelina Jolie, who plays his mother, Olympias, which would be offensive — she’s a mere year older than him — if everything else about her weren’t even more patently ridiculous. She vamps it up as a kind of Classical psycho mommy dearest, draped in slinky togas with snakes slithering around her arms and legs, a witch with serpentine familiars. “You crazed woman!” he shouts at Mom in one scene, which is fairly typical of their conversations, which also feature pottery thrown around in mad fits, screaming in bad accents — he sounds precisely like an Irishman trying to sound vaguely Mediterranean; she sounds like a bride of Dracula — and spitting in each other’s faces.

Jolie is always a walking catastrophe, frankly…

I don’t mean that if I went back and looked at Alexander again I’d think any better of Jolie’s performance here… I mean that perhaps I’d be far more likely to blame Oliver Stone, because as more recent films have shown, Jolie has more talent than I gave her credit for three years ago.

review of Alexander, posted 11.24.04

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  • Moe

    Shs won an Oscar in 2000, didn’t she?

  • MaryAnn

    Cuba Gooding Jr. won an Oscar, too.

    Your point? :->

  • Moe

    My point is that they’re actors, not miracle workers. Most of the blame lies with the producers, directors and writers in bad movies, not Academy award winning actors.

    Can they really be blamed if they don’t have much to work with?
    I’d blame their script reading ability or their agents, not their acting chops.

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