Monday, February 27, 2012

This, I Guess, Is a Post About Angelina Jolie

I’ve actually been sitting on this one for a few weeks, but tonight seems as sensible a night as any to just up-and-go with it, considering the controversial stance Angelina Jolie took at the Oscars. I refer not to any position Jolie took on a given issue — she’s definitively pro-child, pro-world peace and pro-the idea of herself as some kind of geopolitical messiah — but specifically to the literal stance she took throughout the night: right leg stuck through her dress slit as far as it possibly could, with all the “look at me!” glee of a three-year-old boy who suddenly realizes he has a penis and goes waggling it about with shameless abandon.

It was weird and lame. Everyone seemed to realize this. And when Dean Pelton himself, Jim Rash, won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants, he mocked her by mimicking her awkward, splayed pose. (The moment would have recalled Revenge of the Nerds if the titular downtroddens had exacted vengeance against the pretty girls on campus instead of the popular guys.) Immediately, I stuffed this little incident into the gunnysack I have labeled “Holy shit, Angelina Jolie sucks,” where it would occupy space with other turds that this woman has squeezed out. Among them:
  • She’s really just a Hollywood brat.
  • She’s only made one good movie (and it’s Gia, not Girl, Interrupted).
  • She tried to seem interesting by dressing goth-y and implying an incestuous relationship with her brother.
  • She tried to seem interesting by her whole weird, public courtship with Billy Bob Thornton.
  • She tried to seem interesting by becoming super mom and, really, super woman, to the point that I suspect she thinks her double-X chromosome somehow overpowers every other XX in the world.
  • She tried to seem interesting by launching a one-woman quest to end weltschmerz
  • She seems willing to try anything to cover up the fact that she’s always Angelina Jolie on screen, and acting is just not her forte.
  • I kind of feel like anyone who has an affair with Jenny Shimizu only does it to piss off one or both of her parents.
  • And perhaps the thing that bothers me the most, she gives the impression that she lacks a sense of humor.
So yeah, this woman I do not hold in especially high regard. But notice in the above list that I didn’t mention Jennifer Aniston. Personally, I don’t care what went down between Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston, and I don’t think rumors of man-thievery should hold her back any more than similar scandals affected Elizabeth Taylor or Ingrid Bergman. (And in the long run, we don’t really think of either Taylor or Bergman as peen-starved she-predators. Of course, both could act circles around Angelina Jolie, but I’ve already stated my feelings on that subject.) In the end, I’m not someone who would classify himself as pro-Aniston, nor do I believe that thinking that Angelina Jolie is a talentless twit necessarily makes that person pro-Aniston by default.

Okay, now, all that said, I should probably mention the bloggable post element that I’d been keeping on the backburner all this time. It’s the one photo of Angelina Jolie in which I found her to look totally, strikingly appealing. And it looks like this:

Things to note: 
  • For once, she looks like she’s not addressing a United Nation panel on skinny babies. She also doesn’t look like she has somewhere better to be.
  • In fact, that’s the most animated I’ve ever seen her face.
  • She kind of looks like Elizabeth Hurley (which in my book is a good thing).
  • But Hurley-ness notwithstanding, the pose makes me think of Jennifer Aniston. I mean, that’s a pose Aniston would assume for some kissass Esquire cover story to the effect of “Aniston is the shit! She totally gets dudes and she makes funny faces so you don’t feel all intimidated by her!”
And to me, this association seems weird, given that I don’t find Aniston to be the sparkling, virginal yin to Jolie’s angrily frothing yang. They’re just two people who share a personal history that intersected once — or twice if you count that Scream 3 weirdness — and have since been doing they’re own thing and totally not existing in a sort of cosmic equilibrium.


Or am I so proud of my self-perceived ability to think my way out of the traps the snare everyone else who’s positing about pop culture that I refuse to see the situation as it is, with Angelina Jolie being the heavy, serious, sexual opposite to the light, comic, makeout-y, over-the-clothes-ness that is Jennifer Aniston?

Already, I’ve given the matter too much thought.


  1. Speaking as a straight dude, allow me to add to your list of Angie's shortcomings:

    * She's not actually attractive.

    Her body is fine, I guess, but her face looks like she's been stung by bees. And not in a cool way that makes her an unconventional beauty like Maggie Gyllenhaall. She's just got a boring, not attractive face. The only exception that I've ever seen is the picture you have above, and even then, as you note, it's because she looks like someone else.

    1. See, I don't think so either, and I actually don't know many guys that find her attractive. It may be that she has a sort of beauty that appeals more to women than men.

  2. Ditto Carl... I am glad to hear that I am not the only cat who noticed that there is nothing to her as far as looks go... gee, I feel empowered now..!

    1. I suspect that her personality isn't helping either.


    1. That's actually good to hear. I'm used to people going on and on about how great this woman is.

  4. Sarah Hammill3:30 PM

    I was obsessed with Gia in high school, but let's be honest, Elizabeth Mitchell is the best thing that movie has going for it. Which makes me think of Lost, and how much I miss it, especially Juliet and Sawyer. Which reminds me how Daryl Motherfucking Dixon from The Walking Dead shares similar character DNA with Sawyer, and yet there's not one, NOT ONE (!) likable female character on that show.

    See how Angelina Jolie just opens up a rabbit hole of sadness and indignation?

    1. You're right. Elizabeth Mitchell is the take-away. And I do miss Lost, and Sawyer. But I feel like the proper Sawyer replacement is on Justified. (I've given up on The Walking Dead. It's just shambling along.) But yeah, let's blame Angelina for everything wrong with everything.

  5. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Thank you for hitting on several key points for why Angelina Jolie blows goats. I just cannot for the life of me understand what some people find appealing about her. I know it's hard to encapsulate someone's entire existence in a single body gesture, but that one single move pretty much reveals (for me, at least) just how shallow all of her humanitarian efforts likely really are -- in the end, she might on paper be some Great White Savioress, but at the end of the day, it's really all about her, isn't it? And what is there to like? Acting-wise, I would argue that in most of her movies she's still playing her character Acid Burn from Hackers. An actress this famous can afford to not be typecast, and yet she is, which to me just means she doesn't care that much one way or the other.

    That reminds me -- Mr. And Mrs. Smith is unwatchable. And Brad Pitt's credibility in my eyes takes a big hit pretty much every time I see them together. Also, why is Johnny Depp always Tim Burton's Everyman when he so clearly isn't an Everyman? And on that note, why is he so hard to take seriously anymore, too?

    Going back a few steps, something else that struck me as disturbing/pathetic/tragic about Jolie's pose was her body itself. What is happening to her? I'm sure she has her share of body image issues, and I'm not trying to add to them, but she getting into what I would consider the "dangerously skeletal" range. Why isn't anyone commenting on that? For me, watching Jolie's pose was like watching a deluded anorexic 15-year-old trying to take sexy photos for her MySpace predator -- all too eager to please with something that's just arguably sad.

    And speaking of skeletal things, I'm also wishing The Walking Dead would get a move on. I'm not sure if you've read the comics, but the series is moving at a mind-numbingly slow pace for a storyline that already spends a lot of time (necessarily) under siege-like settings.

    Last but not least, ditto on missing Juliet and Sawyer. On that note, I wish ABC would just reshoot all of season six with a new conclusion -- it's not too late to do it.

  6. Your points are many but well-reasoned.