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Critics Seem Overly Harsh on Jolie’s Maleficent

Full disclosure: I have not yet seen Maleficent. But I plan to. And not a single negative review of the film is going to change my mind. Why? Because these reviews seem to miss the overall point. I only need to know two things.

1) is Jolie great as Maleficent? By all accounts, yes.
2) Is the film worth seeing just for Jolie? By all accounts, yes.

There are reviews on Angelina Jolie’s new film Maleficent that are worth reading. Check out Amy Nicholson’s piece in the LA Weekly, which examines the film from a refreshingly feminist angle. But too many of them, with a scant few exceptions, seem to miss the point completely. They are writing reviews, it seems, as though the movie was aimed at them. It wasn’t. Nowhere near. It’s aimed at young girls who are underrepresented in the tentpole nonsense that has overtaken American cinema. That a whole film was built around Jolie, that she is on every poster, that she is OPENING this movie – this is extremely rare in Hollywood and mark my words, she’s being tested.

Now, of course, in typical Hollywood fashion, they give the film over to a first time director, a risk they would never take with a female director. NEVER. EVER. EVER. How much worse could the film have gotten where critics are concerned if a woman was at the wheel of this thing?

Yes, the film was written by a woman then, it seems, kind of ruined by the male director behind the camera but does this mean the five white guys who run Hollywood are ever going to think, huh, that didn’t work out so well. Could that have been because it was directed by a man? Written by a woman, about a woman, starring an icon and yet, move over honey, let me drive.

So it is only adding insult to injury that Christopher Orr at the Atlantic would write this piece that seems to put the blame squarely on Angelina Jolie – she can’t save the film but worse, why are her movies getting worse? He writes:

What was Jolie’s last genuinely memorable role? The Tourist? Salt? Changeling? She sauntered through her effortless brand of sexual cool in Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as in supporting roles in Wanted, Beowulf, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. And of course she voices a tiger in the Kung Fu Panda movies. For an indisputably A-list actress, it adds up to an awful lot of B-list roles. Indeed, unlike fellow cinematic icons such as her quasi-spouse Brad Pitt and his pal George Clooney, Jolie seems almost to have transcended her film career altogether. Acting often looks as though it’s an occasional sideline to her day job, the no doubt taxing business of being Angelina Jolie.

Maleficent was intended to remedy this, to reestablish Jolie center-stage, playing a villainess as iconic as herself. Alas, Disney’s subversive retelling of its own 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty is an utter mess. At once overblown and under-baked, the movie is a morally and tonally confused collection of sequences that never cohere into a compelling story.

You’d think that in Orr’s piece he would allude to what Jolie has REALLY been doing. He says she is “busy being Angelina Jolie,” which is, presumably, a snide allusion to her continual efforts for war refugees and her charity work around the world. But he also neglects to MENTION her not only already directing a film already but that she’s coming out with a big, important film this year. AS DIRECTOR OF THE FUCKING THING.

This is how Orr ends his piece:

So what’s next for Jolie? Kung Fu Panda 3 is due out next year. And Salt 2 (c’mon, guys, at least have the ironic sense to title it SALT II) is scheduled to follow sometime on its heels. Jolie will always be big. But, if anything, her pictures seem to be getting ever smaller.

That Orr wouldn’t even mention what is actually next for Jolie, where she is headed in her career — squarely in the director’s seat, my friends — is yet more proof that women simply do not carry any importance in the minds of many critics. If this article had been written about Clint Eastwood as an actor, let’s say, or even Ryan Gosling, or Ben Affleck – you think for one minute they would leave out their move to direct? Um.

At the end of the day, though, it is tantamount to spitting in the wind writing negative reviews of Maleficent that talk about how bad the movie is while Jolie is the main reason to see it. OF COURSE SHE IS! That was the whole point of making a movie called Maleficent – to see Jolie as that wonderful, iconic character.

Sure, there are a small amount of critics whose complaints are valid. And yeah, when you are a film critic you’re required to write an honest take a film. But come on, didn’t the point get missed two stops back? I think it did. Here’s to Maleficent breaking box office records (but yeah, now that critics have panned it who knows if it will) so that there will be more tentpoles built around a singular female character.

Beyond that, everything else is just sort of pointless because it is aimed at people who probably wouldn’t be seeing the film anyway. Should they still write their reviews? Sure. But do they have to sound like they’re talking about a car they just bought or a hotel room they just stayed in? Structural flaws?! Who cares! This is all about this part, this woman.

And to Miss Jolie, here’s a round of applause for all she’s accomplished, what she continually strives for and who she keeps redefining what a woman is capable of doing with just one life. Sure, we’re fascinated by her because she is so beautiful but she is doing anything but, as Orr describes, “being Angelina Jolie” and acting in increasingly bad films. Jolie has announced she and Brad Pitt will be making a movie together from a script she wrote. She is out there trying new things always – she is doing a lot more than fading out as Norma Desmond.

63 Comments on this Post

  1. alexww

    My only problem with this movie is the visuals, I’m getting tired of the Alice in Wonderland/Return to Oz style of over-saturation and making EVERYTHING effects, even a fricken forest.

  2. DCIJB

    Is the “the five white guys who run Hollywood” an euphemism for “the five jewish guys who run Hollywood”? You are not an antisemite, are you Sasha?

  3. Bryce Forestieri

    “Alice in Wonderland/Return to Oz”

    You mean OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, right? Cuz RETURN TO OZ was made with awesome, mind-blowing puppets; I actually like it more than Fleming’s, but -should clarify- I like all three Oz films mentioned. All three are very of their directors.

  4. Corvo

    So you say the film is good without having seen it. Why? Because of politics, obviously. It’s always because of politics. Angelina is involved, so it MUST be good. And if a film critic (who unlike you actually has seen the movie) thinks it’s bad, then his (his, not her, it must be a male film critic) review is not worth to be read. A shining example of intellectual honesty.

  5. I think it’s fair to say that sasha is quite clearly pre disposed to like the film. I’ll take the word over people who have seen it and don’t like it over people who haven’t seen it and are defending it. But then I am predisposed to like it too, so I will be easily swayed the other way once the defence is coming from a position of knowledge rather than assumption.

  6. Of not over.

  7. I though the movie was very good. If there weren’t so much CGI, it would have been excellent.

  8. keifer

    I have absolutely no interest in seeing “Maleficient”. For one thing, it’s publicity campaign is overwhelming. Even the shopping network HSN is dedicating this weekend to product tie-ins for the movie. That alone is enough to make me hurl.

    Rather, I’m going to “Only Lovers Left Alive” this weekend with the great Tilda Swinton. I hope Tilda she doesn’t suck in this movie (pardon the pun). HA!

  9. I’ve been able to let a lot of criticisms aimed at the “five white men against the women in show business” slide because, though I agree with it or not, you’ve seen the movies. You haven’t seen this. Since the praise has been directed at Jolie then I fail to really see what the problem is. The victory is hers and not the first time white director (because we should make him a target now since it’s his first film and women don’t get chances to debut a big budgeted movie). She isn’t being tested, she’s been a bonafide star for years and has driven her own vehicles. Jolie was front and center for Wanted even though she was not the main character. Changeling, Salt, Lara Croft, any other movie she’s starred in, she’s had box office power for well over a decade now. I think my level of frustration comes from you standing on a soap box and pointing fingers without having seen the movie. I would understand if you felt dismayed that Maleficent wasn’t getting the stellar reviews you were hoping for, but tearing down other reviews when you’ve hardly a leg to stand on isn’t such a great thing to see. Also, 56 at Metacritic doesn’t mean the film has been panned. 15 reviews are in the green, 19 are in the yellow, and 2 are in the red. So 2 out of 36 critics panned it…those are odds I’d love to have if I was a first time filmmaker!

  10. How the hell is Maleficent a feminist movie when the villain is now only a villain because she was victimized by a man and took revenge on his daughter? WTF

    I expected a female director to not fall back on old movie tropes. Maleficent would have been a much better movie if it had not wasted time trying to make us sympathize with her and just made her a badass villain.

    I see this more and more in movies and on TV (poor Norman Bates’s mother was raped) where white pretty woman can’t be bad unless someone did something bad to them – usually some type of assault or rape and now even verbal abuse.

    Free women and let them be bad because they can be bad without victimization.

  11. Aragorn

    It seems that some critics use their reviews to just undermine Angelina and what she does. Saying that she hasnt done much recently is just stupid. I am sure she got lots of offers, I am sure she could have done other movies, including Gravity, but she chose to focus on her family and many other more important causes. Among other things, she visited Syrian refugee camps twice in less than a year. Sure she could have spent that time to make another movie or two but she chose to do what she wanted to do.
    I really hope that this movie will be a huge hit so they will have to recognize her star power.

  12. Aragorn, I’m sure the critics who criticized her activities, or questioned them, more directed it at her film career. However, no one can criticize what she’s done for people all over the world.

  13. kirenaj

    I liked it quite a bit.

    There is too much CGI, Copley over acts, the setup is a bit clumsy and the comedy elements misguided, but Jolie is terrific in it (I would say perfect, and she will become iconic for it if the movie is a success), Fanning is charming (as are the kids playing her growing up), and even if you could see the twist coming a good hour before it did the way it happened still sold it. For me this is kind of like Frozen (even if not quite Frozen good); the movie has some major flaws, but the good parts are really good and make you forgive most of the flaws.

  14. I was disappointed. I went in like you not caring what the critics said. I thought it was pretty bad. They could have made it really great but it’s a botched mess. Is Jolie good? I guess but that doesn’t make it a good movie. Is she worth seeing it just because of her? Nope.

  15. i will never understand why anyone would expect angelina jolie to star in a great movie- she has always been in bad movies. most of her movies are terrible, just like that critic listed. her fame and power didn’t come from her movies, it came from her celebrity/tabloid status and the whole brad pitt thing. everybody knows that, it seems weird for him to wonder only now why her movies are so bad- they’ve never been good.

    and why on earth should critics be easy on the movie because she’s a woman starring in it? if it sucks, it sucks. there are quite a few female critics who didn’t like it by the way, and didn’t like the angle that she turned evil only because she was jilted by a man

    also, Alice in Wonderland, Oz the Great and Powerful, Snow White and Huntsman- not a single one of these movies has been well-reviewed. i don’t know why anyone expected Maleficent to be

  16. ‘How the hell is Maleficent a feminist movie when the villain is now only a villain because she was victimized by a man and took revenge on his daughter? WTF’

    This is nonsense. The film clearly positions Maleficent as the hero, whose villainous traits are short-lived but with long-lasting implications, and which are both wholly justified and eventually overcame by maternal instincts. Its feminism is strewn throughout – the film thrives on it, seems to keep on going purely because of it.

    To lay the blame of the failure of this film as a work of art at Angelina Jolie’s feet is ridiculous, Christopher Orr. She is far and away the strongest thing in it. It’s one of her best performances.

  17. JPNS Viewer

    Sasha’s said:

    “Full disclosure: I have not yet seen Maleficent.”

    “That a whole film was built around Jolie, that she is on every poster, that #she is OPENING this movie# – this is extremely rare in Hollywood and mark my words, she’s being tested.”

    “So it is only adding insult to injury that Christopher Orr at the Atlantic would write this piece that seems to put the blame squarely on Angelina Jolie – [(in Sasha’s opinion) according to Orr] #she can’t save the film# but worse, why are her movies getting worse?”

    “Structural flaws?! Who cares! This is all about this part, this woman.”

    “Jolie has announced she and Brad Pitt will be making a movie together from a script she wrote. She is out there trying new things always – she is doing a lot more than fading out as Norma Desmond.”

    Sasha

    If Jolie is virtually the main reason […] to check out this flick and that, as you’ve (sensibly so; in my opinion) put it, she’s “opening” the movie [I’m not arguing that she’s not], and so forth, then Chris Orr, as a “critic”, as well as another movie-watcher who happens to have seen the whole feature already, thus is more than entitled to express his pro opinions.

    I am a hetero guy. Not a male Chauvin-pig either. But to suspend the reality so as to pretend to be in a feminist’s shoe, I admire your championing la Jolie regardless of the fact that you have yet to see the piece [referring to Sasha vs the world [critics]].
    That said, while I love the passion felt in your rant [compliments], your points just didn’t sit well against those critics, considering your own full disclosure.

    Thanks, though, for a passionate piece, Sasha.

    PS: For Jolie to re-collab with her beau Brad Pitt; well, what is so new about that (?); it feels at least on paper and for now as though another mainstream flick created, first, for the dough, doesn’t it?

  18. One of her better performances? I agree with that. But I have never seen anything of hers that I think ‘wow she is really quite an amazing actress…’. She bores me to tears more often than not.

  19. murtaza

    Jolie is a strange case, she’s a brilliant actress but her movies mostly suck, and they suck very bad. So far her directorial debut was also a shameful experience, so bad it even surpassed her own bad films. So yes i agree with what this Chris Orr says.

    Now for that Orr hasn’t mentioned Unbroken in Jolie’s coming up next, that’s unfair also. It’s a big thing coming up for her.

    And Sasha please spare us your blind judgements, stop praising a film just because it has a strong female character and a strong actress leading it, you know how bad Jolie’s films have been lately. You’re the one who recently said you’re against such hideous costly movies and that you don’t like them, you even went after Noah. You said:

    “The blockbusters might just swallow up Hollywood completely.”

    But suddenly Maleficent becomes very watchable (even when you haven’t watched it) because it has Jolie in a strong female character leading the movie.

  20. ^ this

  21. murtaza

    Aragorn,
    Maleficent will do nothing new to Jolie’s star power, she already has huge star power and people accept that.

  22. Huge star power? I guess I need to know what the definition of ‘star power’ is. To me, it’s someone that if you say a movie and tell people ‘so and so stars in it…’ and their reaction is ‘oh i will see anything they are in’. It also means they are a big draw box office wise. To ME, she comes nowhere near the first part as someone I would say ‘Jolie is in it?! OMG I am so there!!!’. I was interested in what others thought so I asked it via FB if people thought Jolie was a huge star. No one is saying yes or that they go to movies BECAUSE of her alone. Regarding box office draw, i think she’s more of a big star but nothing that great. her action movies are ‘hits’ but even critically acclaimed ones she’s in don’t have phenomenal BO.

  23. Craig

    Saw it last night and, yes, Angelina is the best thing about the movie. Not a great movie but I didn’t think it would be because, as Sasha pointed out, I wasn’t there for a great movie. I was there to see Angelina. She is the only reason I bought a ticket to see it and the only reason I would see it again.

  24. murtaza

    See Joshua, there’s a world out there like Craig who adores Jolie.
    There are many reasons for that:
    – She’s hot.
    – Her praiseworthy humanitarian work.
    – She’s a good actress.
    – BRAD PITT.
    That totals up to a big name in Hollywood, i won’t mind saying an important one also.

  25. isn’t the property itself also a draw though? i mean, Alice, Oz, and Snow White- they were all poorly reviewed and they all made money anyway. it seems like a certain audience keeps wanting to see these revamped fairy tale things no matter who’s in them

  26. i don’t know if she’s a good actress or not… but she doesn’t make good movies. rotten tomatoes did a run-down of her 10 best movies and it is pathetic for someone that has been a star and working as long as she had. terrible

  27. ‘stop praising a film just because it has a strong female character and a strong actress leading it’

    Why? That’s such a positive step forward for the movie industry. Whether the film is good or not is irrelevant. Whether the film is successful or not is though.

  28. Scott

    If the movie’s bad, is it really worth championing for a single role? Are there films with great characters in terrible films (and I don’t mean awesomely bad like Mommie Dearest) that are actually worth a second look?

    I thought Streep was fascinating in The Iron Lady but I could barely get through the film even once due to every single thing else about it. The structure was really offputting.

  29. murtaza

    Seriously Paddy if a film is good or not is irrelevant and if it’s the film’s success that matters than from today AD should start writing rave reviews for Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean.

    As for the big step forward, women in Hollywood have been securing centric roles since 1940’s, it’s no step forward. It’s phenomenal roles in equally impressive films for women that matters today, not some crap like Maleficent.

  30. Daniela

    This is probably one of the most terrible and pointless piece of shit Mrs. Stone has ever written. Bashing other critis in such an agressive and arrogant way without seeing the movie herself is plain dumb and embarrassing. Really wonder, what kind of people still applaud her strange kind of writings, that have (to make this absoluteley clear) nothing to do with real, honest feminism. Her one-dimensional writings are full of prejudice and are lacking any kind of complexity. Completely anti-feminism. It hurts me as a mother and independent woman, that this is the legacy Mrs. Stone give to her own young daughter.

  31. Bryce Forestieri

    I’ll sort of compare her with Robert Redford. Both are pretty good actors with cemented legacies in other departments such as good deeds and being some of the best role models out there, but both their filmographies -as actors- aren’t nearly proportional in importance to their names/fame. Caveat: Redford at least has directed a couple of great movies, but hey, let’s be optimistic about UNBROKEN because if someone is taking an unfair hit, should that one be a stinker, is poor Jack O’Connell (STARRED-UP); a very talented young actor whose career should be nourished and brought along by the best filmmakers out there! Jolie, the Coens, Deakins, Bigelow and Chastain will be just fine after both of these bombs.

  32. Bryce Forestieri

    By the way and preemptively, my comparison is meant to be taken in a pretty broad sense assuming Jolie has still more movies in her than Redford, *of course* Jolie hasn’t been in anything remotely as good as ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, so nitpickers, save it.

  33. ‘Seriously Paddy if a film is good or not is irrelevant and if it’s the film’s success that matters than from today AD should start writing rave reviews for Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean.’

    Oh gosh total bollocks. Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: two franchises with male-centric narratives. Their success has done nothing to promote equality. If Maleficent is successful at the box office, it will hopefully shine a spotlight on the immense potential in the film industry fostering a more positive attitude toward women in film.

    And anyway, rave reviews? You think Ryan and Sasha could give a shit how much money films like that make? No. You think they could give a shit how much Maleficent makes? I bet they do, and with good reason.

  34. even though you said not to pitpick, i can’t agree even in the broader sense when you look at all the classics that Robert Redford actually starred in- Butch Cassidy, The Candidate, The Sting, The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor, All the President’s Men, The Natural. those were all him in the prime of his acting career and movies that remained beloved by people for years. even if he was a limited actor he still made good movies.

    she’s got nothing that compares to any of those. he was definitely famous first for his movies, not just his celebrity/tabloid status or non-acting activities.

    a better comparison might be going back much further to someone like Ava Gardner, who doesn’t have a lot of classics in her filmography at all, yet in her time was a huge star because of her looks and relationships.

  35. sunny

    lily
    I will never understand why anyone would expect angelina jolie to star in a great movie- she has always been in bad movies.
    ————-
    I think you are right.
    A Mighty Heart and Changeling were not great ones but she was very good in them.

    Most of her movies were not chosen by someone who has good taste of finding good roles for their clients. There is a reason why Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep always thanked to their powerful agents at the awards ceremonies.

    It seems agentless Angelina picked up her roles without a lot of career consideration. Acting is 4th or 5th of her priorities, after all. It was probably her mother’s strong will that made her an actress.

    She picks up her humanitarian projects more carefully than her acting projects. The example is her 10-years projects in Cambodia. It’s very successful and helps real world.

  36. Bryce Forestieri

    “Butch Cassidy, The Candidate, The Sting, The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor, All the President’s Men, The Natural”

    It’s all a matter of taste…I don’t consider *all* those classics and if they are, they are for people with really pedestrian tastes…

    …I mean THE freaking NIGHT OF THE IGUANA > the collective of THE WAY WE WERE, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, and THE CANDIDATE, and fuck no, I have never considered, Gardner, a talent of the likes of Redford and Jolie.

    I don’t consider Jolie only “a huge star because of her looks and relationships” she’s a pretty talented individual who easily has 2-3 great pictures ahead of her should she get it together when choosing her projects. Again, I already said all this. By God, Gardner? Who are you gonna compare her next, Raquel Welch?

  37. sunny

    lily
    I think your examples are proving Sasha is right
    Redford is female and Eva was femele actor.

  38. sunny

    correction
    Redfor is male

  39. The five white guys who run hollywood are probably Jewish. Why is pointing this out antisemetic. Defensive much? Geez. Calling a spade a spade isn’t racist – it’s honest.

  40. Watermelons

    I think it would be interesting to see Oscar-winner Kate Winslet (Little Children, Labor Day) as the lead in one of these tentpole superbeing projects!

    -Watermelons

  41. Paddy, to be fair Murtaza did say, “Spare us your blind judgement” before stating everything else.Think about it, if any of us were trashing a movie before it came out, none of us had seen it, would we be told to not blindly judge a movie until we’ve seen it?

  42. Kai Lor

    I enjoyed the film. That’s all.

  43. how is comparing her to ava gardner an insult? gardner is one of the AFI’s greatest female stars- i’m just saying her fame and celebrity came more from things other than movies, and in that way she does compare to jolie

  44. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Here is what is going to happen. I will go see Maleficent tomorrow and it will change none of the points I have made here. None. I’m not expecting Citizen Kane. I’m expecting a film that will showcase Jolie’s talent – and that’s it. Am I worried that it will send the wrong message to my daughter? Um. No. I parent her. That is how she learns about feminism and everything else. She is way too smart to be fooled by any Hollywood film. To be continued tomorrow.

  45. “Maleficent” was a bad movie. Jolie is great in it. Movie still sucks though. Also Sasha I fail to see how critics are clearly not in women’s corner when they gave bad reviews to this, as these are the same critics who fell all over “Frozen” and openly wished more movies with strong female roles would be made. But they have to be good regardless which audience it targets, so in this regard they did not miss the point.

  46. DBibby

    To say Angelina Jolie doesn’t have much coming out soon and neglects to mention directing Unbroken (plus ignoring her roles as UN ambassador and mother!) makes me so angry! Sasha is right to call this critic out on this regardless of whether she’s seen the film yet.

  47. Thank fuck for Sasha. The quality of Maleficent as a film has very little to do with what it means for the position of women in Hollywood.

    And blind judgement, Kane? I saw the film on Wednesday, so my judgement is far from blind.

  48. sunny

    DBibby, Christopher Orr still believes Eve was made out of Adam’s rib.
    He googled Angelina’s IMDB page and was saying her next project will be Salt 2 ? That will not happen. She denied the sequel in her recent interview.

    Cleopatra is the project she is still attached and probably it’s her last big role. I want Benedict Cumberbatch for shrewd Octavianus.

  49. Ligaya Lucero

    I agree with Sasha. Read an Eric Kohn piece similar to Orr taking Angelina Jolie to task for her so-called career trajectory (as defined by them) & comparing her unfavorably to Brad Pitt (incl. citing WWZ which indiewire trashed along with everybody else, but it’s cool now since it made lots of $$$) Seems to me her accomplishments are forgotten (*see below), current efforts minimized/underrated & future ones ignored. Whatever she does isn’t enough to satisfy some people, she’s measured to a higher standard, an ever moving goal.

    I loved Maleficent & I LOVED Angelina Jolie’s performance. There’s a reason it has an A Cinemascore. There’s a reason that 3 shows I saw with different friends ended with people clapping. I’m one of those people who sees every movie, whether good/bad, that Jolie’s in because she’s an interesting actress, and I know plenty of people who are like me.

    Orr’s unbelievably condescending, willful & sexist dismissal of Jolie’s directorial, producing & UNHCR work completely invalidates his piece for me.

    * PGA Awards Stanley Kramer Award: In the Land of Blood and Honey
    * AMPAS Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

    * Awards: 1 Oscar (Girl, Interrupted), 2 SAGS (voted by her peers – Girl, Interrupted, Gia), 3 Golden Globes (Girl, Interrupted, Gia, George Wallace),
    * Nominations: Oscar for Changeling; Golden Globe for Changeling, A Mighty Heart; SAG for Changeling, A Mighty Heart.

  50. Ligaya Lucero

    I agree with this review:

    “I LOVED Maleficent. I wasn’t expecting to, to be honest. It’s great to look at, SHE’s great to look at & she’s actually funny at times & then, on top of all it, we realised we were watching a fairy tale movie where the female lead is allowed to make mistakes, to be wronged & then to be wrong herself & to have to be accountable for her poor decisions, & not just someone who stands around letting good & bad things happen to her.

    Also…Maleficent gets mad. We often see the women in these movies get frustrated, sometimes even annoyed. But mad? Real anger isn’t an emotion they have the luxury of feeling. Not often. This isn’t relatable. And this is what I loved most about Maleficent. That she could be angry. Vengefully angry. After that, regretful. With no one else to blame. Then, instead of romance, she’s allowed to be redeemed by friendship. The most significant man in her life doesn’t want to rescue her, or save her, but wishes only to help her & follow her lead…with no ulterior romantic motive. These were my takeaways.”

    http://www.laineygossip.com/Angelina-Jolie-and-Brad-Pitt-at-Maleficent-premiere-and-review/30367

  51. Paddy, not your blind judgement! Murtaza directed that comment toward Sasha since she hadn’t seen it yet. Oy vey…

  52. steve50

    “…easily has 2-3 great pictures ahead of her….”
    “Cleopatra is the project she is still attached and probably it’s her last big role.”
    “fading out like Nora Desmond”

    There’s a burr of a subtext in this thread, even among supporters, that Jolie is at the end of her acting career. She’s not even 40 years old. Would this assumption be made about any of her male counterparts? Have we subconsciously bought into the mindset that a male actors career runs until he dies while a female actor’s shelf life (with a few notable exceptions) is over at middle age?

    Also, detractors must consider the target audience for a film based on a Disney cartoon and Jolie’s reasoning behind participating in it. Was anyone expecting Cries and Whispers? The intention was obviously to entertain a younger audience, just as they did with Close/Cruella de Vil, which was also hammered by the serious critics. Perhaps the only valid criticism we should be listening to should be coming from the target market – what do the 6-to-12 year old set think about it?

    Thankfully, these films are critic-proof and make money for the studios. The bonus is that animated and live-action films aimed at the younger set seem to be portraying more stronger female characters than their adult counterparts. Can this trend translate as that audience gets older?

    If she chooses, Jolie has many films ahead of her both in front of and behind the camera.

  53. JPNS Viewer

    “Here is what is going to happen. I will go see Maleficent tomorrow and it will change none of the points I have made here. None. I’m not expecting Citizen Kane. I’m expecting a film that will showcase Jolie’s talent – and that’s it.”

    Sasha

    Speaking for myself, I think I do understand your genuine point #beyond the full disclosure. In fact, it’s reached me from day one – as in the very first few paragraphs read first time, for instance. (And, I believe, so do other readers, if not all.) (It just didn’t sit well when factoring in into the equation in this context [the thread], where the points are being used in debate against some of the critics whose opinions represent something with which Sasha happens to disagree (despite having yet to see the film).)

    I personally believe: regardless of how not so well it might sit #only when# against some of those critics’ reviews (mainly because of your full disclosure backfiring in this context [Sasha vs the world (some critics)]), your points per se in the main article, as well as in the first paragraph’s excerpt taken from your own comment, are well taken. (Craig, I believe, has already made the same point more or less, in his comment somewhere above shown as well — in favor of your thread.) In itself, as in #not vs those critics who have seen the films, Sasha’s whole article, despite the full disclosure, really conveys all good enough/valid points as far as Jolie-the-star goes; in addition, Sasha-herself being a relatively celebrated pro blogger/online columnist, as opposed to being a reader [anonymous body, such as myself et al], also helps prevent the main thread from being taken as simply a troll work despite the full disclosure.
    So, I believe, people here are not trying to make light of or plainly dismiss it just because of the full standalone disclosure in itself; rather, when putting to use against some of those critics’ reviews [it doesn’t matter whether or not those critics’ pro opinions are good enough or something with which we agree/disagree, etc.], it just couldn’t deliver.

    Anyway, apologies for being all over the place. (This kind of narrative voice fits my non-native English speaker’s streams of conscience better; I could have been much more concise but then . . . . )

    Looking forward to your next thread/comment re this subject, Sasha.

  54. Christophe

    Yup, even though it might seem like she’s been around for ever and she’s always seemed quite mature for her age, Angelina Jolie is actually still pretty “young” by normal world standards. She’s 11 yrs younger than Sandra Bullock, who in her late 40’s has just experienced the biggest success of her career yet (at least $70M paycheck + shitload of prizes and noms). At Angelina’s age, Sandra B. had never even been nominated for an Oscar (no one expected her to) and she was deemed a mediocre though sympathetic actress of purely commercial rom-coms plus the occasionnal action film.

    So who knows what’s next for Angelina?

  55. JPNS Viewer

    (I posted my comments 20-25 minutes ago [apparently prior to Christophe’s]. For some reason, it just didn’t show.)

  56. sunny

    Steve50
    There are a few projects she still wants to be in. That’s from her own mouth and I think Cleopatra is the biggest one among them.

    She suggested that playing Cleopatra would be such a career-defining moment that there would be no need to continue acting.

    “It’s one of those that you think maybe that’s the one you put everything into and that’s where you end it, that’s where you finish – in a great way! What could you do beyond that one?”

    She will not retire from directing and producing, though.

    But her humanitarian work is more important right now. This summit will be a huge gathering from all over the world. Her In the Land of Blood and Honey was very successful in a political meaning.

    VIDEO: Watch #AngelinaJolie’s plea on stamping out sexual violence in conflict http://ara.tv/2zc8z

  57. From most reviews I read, Angelina is the best part of Maleficent but critics like Orr decide to center their reviews on the fame of Angelina Jolie. When it should have been on why Disney can’t hire better writers.

  58. This is a rare time when I don’t care what anyone else thinks of the movie. I’m seeing it next Wednesday and I can’t wait. Sleeping beauty is my favorite animated film of all time, I just made the sleeping beauty cocktail last Sunday, and I have a sleeping beauty purse. What more can I say? I’m sure I will love the movie even if its bad.

  59. Sonja

    Some reviews say “Jolie was born to play Maleficent”, which can be seen as either good or bad or even both together.
    I don’t think anyone expected a masterpiece. It’s a different take on a “villain”, I know, but I thought the pure evilness of Maleficent in the animated film was great. She a woman and evil, but that’s not always a bad thing in movies. One of the best characters in movies are (female) villains, characters I adore, more than an actual hero/heroine.
    Like she’s a creature that must have been born of pure dark magic and so I’m not sure if I want to feel sympathy for her. Who’s next? Ursula?
    Ugh….

  60. Talie

    Orr is right that she has transcended past needing to be an actress for her fame to sustain. I mean, her filmography is one of the worst on record for a star of her caliber. Out of the 30+ films she’s made, only about 5 are worth your time. BUT, again, she’s top billing and the public will probably always be intrigued.

  61. Ligaya Lucero

    JPNS Viewer. I agree with your post.

  62. Nic V

    Angelina Jolie an Icon? By who’s career are you weighing this Icon status?

  63. Angelina has shown more range in her acting than most other “name actors”. The fact that she has also written directed, and oh by the way, taken on many efficacious humanitarian pursuits should NOT be used against her in evaluating her acting career. Unfortunately, the facts that she is considered stunningly beautiful and is married to an icon are probably knocks against her in our world of petty hatred of the successful for being successful. I would put Angelina behind only Meryl and Cate in ranking current female actors, alongside Julianne and Nicole.

    BTW, I liked Maleficent just fine. It will not be on any AFI top 100 lists, and I was not expecting such. I am realistic WRT movies in this genre. I also found the CGI to be appropriate, and do not “get” all the guff against it. Sometimes people just want reasons to complain.

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