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Angelina Jolie’s return to the silver screen is looking to be one of her very biggest hits ever. Walt Disney’s Maleficent, a darker re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty story with the emphasis on its conflicted villain, debuted recently with $24.25 million
That sum included $4.2m in Thursday showings. This is right in line with the $24m opening day for Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful,
From Girl, Interrupted to Mr and Mrs Smith, Angelina Jolie has turned in some memorable work over the years. As critics hail her performance in Disney’s Maleficent, we highlight the pick of the bunch. What others would you add to the list?
Maleficent, the highly-anticipated Sleeping Beauty spinoff in which Angelina Jolie plays the lead role, was released this week. Jolie has received some very positive reviews for her portrayal of the eponymous character, with a number of critics hailing her performance as a return to form. It’s easy to forget, amid Jolie’s huge celebrity and side career as a humanitarian, that she is a capable and fine actor with an Oscar to her name. So as a reminder, here are five of her best moments. Agree? Disagree? Add your thoughts and comments in the thread below.
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Jolie’s superb performance as Lisa, the sociopathic best friend of Susanna, a fellow in-patient at Claymore hospital, won her an Oscar for best supporting actress and led to the world’s most awkward acceptance speech. The film, based on the memoir of the same name, is illuminated by Jolie’s ability to nail the combination of charm mixed with zero empathy characteristic of sociopaths; she manages, simultaneously, to be sympathetic, unsympathetic, sexy, asexual, funny and scary.
A Mighty Heart (2007)
Another film based on a memoir, this time that of Mariane Pearl, wife of Daniel Pearl, the journalist kidnapped and beheaded in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002. Michael Winterbottom directed the film, which had a relatively low-key cast, although it did star The Good Wife duo of Archie Panjabi and Denis O’Hare. Jolie, who is almost unrecognisable in the part (there was some casting controversy), is particularly brilliant at portraying the utter despair and irrationality of grief, as seen in the clip below.
Playing By Heart (1998)
Jolie and Ryan Phillippe make the perfect double act in this smart Willard Carroll ensemble piece, also starring Sean Connery, Ellen Burstyn, Gillian Anderson, Jon Stewart, Dennis Quaid and Amanda Peet. Jolie plays club-hopper Joan, who we see breaking up brilliantly with her boyfriend on the phone (see clip below) and meeting the mysterious Keenan. There’s also a great scene in which Jolie explains Suddenly, Last Summer by Tennessee Williams. Wonderful script too: “Last time I saw him, Harry was wearing a blue sweater and an idiotic expression. The sweater was new.
Mr and Mrs Smith (2005)
Jolie has done a lot of action films. There’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (by and large awful, British accent), Wanted with James McAvoy (some truly amazing cinematography, but rubbish dialogue and plot), Gone in 60 Seconds (blonde hair, Nicolas Cage, a lot of stolen cars) and Salt (in which she took over a role originally intended for Tom Cruise). Mr and Mrs Smith, however, is our action blockbuster choice because of how well Jolie and Brad Pitt spar. It was never going to set the world alight, but this is a fun, guns-peeking-around-corners, sexy-scenes-abound action romp, with some good comic acting (the therapy scenes in particular).
This made-for-TV movie really put Jolie on the map. She starred as the real-life bisexual model Gia Carangi, who became addicted first to cocaine and then to heroin, and died of Aids in 1986 aged just 26. Jolie won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her performance, and was also nominated for an Emmy. The film, which has a script written by Jay McInerney, has a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.