Gia (DVD)

It’s hard to believe that that it’s been only 10 years since Angie wowed us all with her incredible turn in Gia. In the years since, she’s become one of the most famous faces on the planet. Adorning the covers of practically every national newspaper and magazine and heading up tons of massive films, it wouldn’t be outlandish to suggest that a lot of this is thanks to her stint in this very movie.

You see, in a way, Gia broke the mould. The tragic story of the world’s first supermodel, this TV movie was a smidge different in that it wasn’t a pile of wank. A chronicle of Gia Carangi’s drug-fuelled life in front of the camera, landing the lead role meant that Jolie got the chance to prove that she wasn’t just a ridiculously pretty face, she could also act. From then on she popped up in the likes of Pushing Tin and The Bone Collector before she grabbed an Oscar for flexing her acting muscle in Girl Interrupted. Sure, she’d been in films previously, but it was this small budget TV movie that essentially gave the pouty-lipped temptress her well-deserved big break.

Playing Carangi with a nuanced blend of anguish, fragility, invulnerability, bewilderment and, of course, beauty, it’s a performance that’s heart-wrenchingly believable, and earnestly delivered. Still, a great stint can mean sod all if the story is shit — luckily then, Gia delivers in that respect too. A ballsy, meticulous look at the dangers that fame can bring for anyone that’s simply not prepared, it’s serious, hard-hitting, emotive stuff. If that’s not enough to get you watching, there’s always the shag scene between Jolie and Elizabeth Mitchell. Lovely stuff.

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Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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