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Gia
 

Gia

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Studio: HBO Video (Warner)
Rated: R
Runtime: 2 Hours
Street Date: 8/7/2001
Features:

Color

Not many made-for-TV movies celebrate the lives of doomed hellions, but what makes Gia a true rarity in the genre is Angelina Jolie's jaw-dropping performance. Jolie's turn as Gia Carangi -- a supermodel of the late-'70s who died of an AIDS-related illness at age 26 -- actually manages to match the film's hype-happy tagline: "Too beautiful to die. Too wild to live." The film, cowritten by director Michael Cristofer and novelist Jay McInerny, begins with Carangi as a child in Philadelphia, observing from the bedroom as her blue-collar parents go through the messy motions toward divorce. Within what seems like minutes, though, she's a tempestuous teen running off to New York City, where she quickly gets the attention of model maven Wilhemina Cooper (Faye Dunaway) -- and not just by plunging a switchblade into her receptionist's desk. She's got something different. Something special. And, since she's played by Anelina Jolie, she's got lips like sofa cushions. The model's professional life is a cruel one, though; and while she scores about 16 on a sexual-attraction scale of ten, true love eludes her. Drugs find her, and with them, HIV. This is not a happy movie, but Jolie's full-throttle approach to every scene -- she seduces a boy in her dad's luncheonette, then the makeup woman, and so on -- makes for a totally absorbing two hours. The dazzling performance earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination, and it remains the wildest turn in Jolie's increasingly distinctive filmography. Greg Fagan


Novelist Jay McInerney and playwright Michael Cristofer (who also made his feature film directorial debut) collaborated on the script for this bio of doomed supermodel Gia Carangi. In a star-making performance, Angelina Jolie stars as Gia, a gorgeous Philadelphia native who arrives in New York City to become a model and immediately makes an impression on high-powered agent Wilhelmina Cooper (Faye Dunaway). Gia's fierce good looks make her a star, as does her willingness to pose nude. Gia becomes entangled in a passionate affair with a photographer's assistant, Linda (Elizabeth Mithcell), but Linda is more conflicted about her bisexuality, driving Gia away and fueling the model's craving for mood-altering drugs. Failed attempts at reconciliation with both Linda and her mother Kathleen (Mercedes Ruehl) drive Gia further over the edge from cocaine to heroin, her emaciated body and sunken eyes becoming the catalyst for the "heroin chic" look. Although Gia is eventually able to kick her powerful habit, she learns that an infected needle has resulted in her contracting the AIDS virus. For the second year in a row, a made-for-TV film resulted in an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe victory for Jolie (the first was George Wallace, 1998). Karl Williams


PRODUCTION AND TECHNICAL NOTES:

Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
Presentation: Pan & Scan
Sound: monaural
Features: Interactive menus; Cast & crew bios; Photo gallery; Multiple language; Scene selections; Subtitles tracks
Language: English, Español
SubTitles: English, Français, Español
Time: 2 Hours
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