Director: Michael Cristofer
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Mercedes Ruehl, Elizabeth Mitchell
For credibility’s sake, let’s acknowledge HBO’s stellar, 1998 made-for-TV biopic Gia for its cinematic merits. The film that made Angelina Jolie a star, playwright-turned-director Michael Cristofer’s award-worthy production takes an uncompromising look at the troubled life of an oft-overlooked supermodel, Gia Carangi. With her openness toward nudity and smoking looks, Carangi ascended to the top of her industry, but a failed love affair with a nearly-as-hot agent (played by Elizabeth Mitchell, now of Lost and V fame) led the model into a spiral of coke, heroine, and other drugs. Jolie, in what remains her best performance, holds nothing back, fearlessly showing her birthday suit throughout and embodying Carangi as a tormented, fragile, and fascinating case study in showbiz tragedy.
Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let’s add upon the “fearlessly showing her birthday suit throughout” point. Our shallow side can’t ignore the truth that Jolie has rarely looked sexier than she does in Gia; her steamy, where’s-the-rewind-button love scene with Mitchell certainly has something to do with that. As we always say, a little girl-on-girl action can put an already superb movie over the edge of greatness.