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Mainstream - Gia - Angelina Jolie

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Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Elizabeth Mitchell
Directed by Michael Cristofer
HBO 1998
120 minutes

Gia is a well-made HBO biopic featuring good actors like Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Faye Dunaway but although it has everything going for it, it fails to really interest the viewer. Granted, the world of fashion is superficial but does a movie about one of its most famous models need to be as superficial. In the end, Gia is, a little too superficial.

Although you are supposedly getting info from those close to Gia like her mother, her childhood friend, her girlfriend, what they tell you only serves the movie and not the story itself. You finally know little about Gia aside from the fact she was a model, had a drug problem, and people were always leaving her or telling her how strong she was or needed to be.

There is also the problem you never quite understand the main character. Angelina Jolie does a good job but considering the performance, so could have any other actress. To Jolie’s defense, there is little character there to develop or present. As if even after her death nobody could figure out Gia.

Had this movie been made a few years later when the modeling world lots its charm for many and anorexic models caused various governments to regulate the modeling industry to some degree, Gia might have been an indictment of the industry that sees women as pieces of fresh meat.

There is a scene where a woman in the detox center accuses the fashion industry of telling her how to look and so on but it is so clumsy and artificial you do not buy it.

Gia could have been so much better, and that is what really sticks with the viewer. As for the nudity, a lot of it is gratuitous but it is Angelina Jolie so who’s complaining?

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