As if she didn’t have enough cameras flashing on her, I’ve decided to shed even more light on the career, not private life, of one of America’s biggest obsessions. As one-half of a Hollywood power couple, Angelina Jolie’s screen presence often takes the backseat to her personal life. Like her husband, her career is full of impressive roles. As I mentioned in my Salt review, Ms. Jolie seems to have two types of screen performances she excels at. There is the emotionally charged Oscar contender, and the kick-ass action heroine. While acclaim is shoveled upon her for the former, the latter brings home the bacon. Jolie, like Meryl Streep, is an undeniable box office draw for the female market. The number one success of a movie like Wanted will never be attributed to James McAvoy. As Jolie’s career continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how she manipulates her public image and directs it towards a cause, or to making people feel something for that character on the page. Here are her current five best performances.
Directed by: Erick Zonca
Written by: Roger Bohbot & Michael Collins
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Aidan Gould, Saul Rubinek, and Kate de Castillo
Make no ifs, ands, or buts about it: Tilda Swinton is one of the finest actresses of her generation. So sublime and brilliant is her technique, that even in a dud like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe she manages to give you something to watch. And then there is Julia, a movie that is actually good, where she inhabits the heart and soul of her character, leaving you stunned, disgusted, and many other things by the time the credits roll.
As the title character, Swinton plays an alcoholic nothing hired by a neurotic Mexican neighbor (Kate de Castillo) to kidnap her son and reunite them across the border. This plot seems like something you’d see in a glitzy Hollywood caper, and the characters in Roger Bohbot and Michael Collins’ screenplay seem conscious of it. When Julia tries to explain the scheme to some of her confidants, they look at her like she’s a fool, which she is.