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Thread: Can "The Tourist" save Angelina Jolie's career?

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Can "The Tourist" save Angelina Jolie's career?

    The once-glamorous star has been in a career rut. Her new turn as Johnny Depp's seductress turns up the sex


    It was an afternoon editorial meeting in the overheated conference room here at Salon.com, and just like people at water coolers across the land, we were talking about what the Sam Hill had become of Angelina Jolie's career. Sure, "Salt" was a fun, empty-headed action flick, but her character was the most desexualized she's ever played, and as multiple gossip sites had informed us, the role was originally written for Tom Cruise. After making multiple craven Oscar-bait failures -- playing the bereaved Mariane Pearl in the dull, earnest "A Mighty Heart" and playing a bereaved, roller-skating 1920s mom in the even drearier "Changeling" -- Jolie seems stuck in the doldrums, no longer the sizzlin'est babe in the whole entire world but not quite an A-list prestige actress either.

    It can be difficult to discern a pattern in the decisions made by movie stars, since so many moving parts are involved -- agents, managers, publicists, family members, massage therapists and so on. But by her own account Jolie is using her acting salary to support her true métier as globetrotting humanitarian and celebrity mom, and she certainly seems more engaged by that second career. At least since hooking up with Brad Pitt six years ago on the set of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Jolie has vacillated between tepid dramatic roles in would-be Oscar winners (Robert De Niro's CIA drama "The Good Shepherd" also belongs in that category) and other stuff that was presumably unchallenging and paid well, including voiceover roles in "Beowulf" and "Kung Fu Panda." Other than the forgettable actioner "Wanted" in 2008, she has avoided roles that played to her galactic-scale sex appeal and glamour-girl reputation.

    During our gabfest, one of my colleagues suggested that Angie needed to take on slinky, sophisticated seductress roles in adult-oriented thrillers long on bling and sexy locations. I believe the phrase "a 'Thomas Crown Affair' sort of thing" was used, although she might just as well have said "a 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' sort of thing." Well, lo and behold: The next evening I went to see "The Tourist," in which Jolie appears in fire-engine lipstick, truly astounding mascara and a collection of eye-popping designer gowns, playing opposite Johnny Depp in a mistaken-identity espionage drama set in Venice. German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (who made the foreign-language Oscar winner "The Lives of Others") delivers the goods on an eye-candy level, providing at least half a dozen va-va-voom shots in which Jolie, with eyes blazing, cascading hair and bared shoulders, parts a crowd like Moses parting the waters, while clad in a dress that cost twice as much as my car.

    You could say that Jolie has been working on her craft, by which I mean that she manages a mostly OK English accent as international woman of mystery Elise Ward, and also speaks a full sentence in passable French. (Famously, she managed to play Mariane Pearl, who is actually French, without uttering a word in that language.)
    More to the point, Jolie at 35 now has the worldly grace and demeanor to pull off this kind of clotheshorse-fantasy character without looking like a schoolgirl playing dress-up. But after I tell you that she looks smashing and that Donnersmarck, cinematographer John Seale and their production team create picture-postcard images of several ravishing Venetian locations, there isn't a lot left to say about "The Tourist."

    This is a pale simulacrum of those high-style travel-porn thrillers of the '60s and '70s, which only serves to remind us that those aren't as easy to pull off as they look, and also that maybe they weren't so great in the first place. Plot comes in a distant second after pretty pictures here, and what there is of it (adapted by Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes from a 2005 French thriller, "Anthony Zimmer") lumbers awkwardly along, toward a blindingly obvious last-act switcheroo. Following instructions from her absent lover, an internationally wanted whiz-kid criminal named Alexander Pierce, Elise boards a train from Paris to Venice and hits on a stranger who vaguely resembles Pierce, but who turns out to be a tongue-tied math teacher from Wisconsin named Frank Tupelo (Depp). Interpol at first assumes this really is Pierce, after some expensive Lisbeth Salander-style plastic surgery -- and so does Reginald Shaw (Steven Berkoff), the thuggish tycoon from whom Pierce stole billions.

    Depp is quite enjoyable as the slightly plump, slightly shaggy Frank, who winds up shacked up with an unbelievably beautiful woman in Venice's fanciest hotel and being variously harried by British secret agents, Italian cops and Russian mobsters. "May I pay you a compliment?" he purrs to her on a balcony overlooking the Lido. "You are the least down-to-earth person I have ever met." The largely British cast is better than it needs to be: Along with Berkoff, a semi-legendary figure in London theater, supporting roles are filled by Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton and Rufus Sewell. But the movie's action scenes are mild, slow and dull -- Donnersmarck has no feeling for that idiom -- and what's really going on beneath the confusion is a) not that hard to figure out; b) not especially fun or interesting and c) thoroughly ridiculous.

    Angelina Jolie isn't the big problem with "The Tourist" -- she is its primary decorative element, and probably the best reason to see it. Maybe my colleague was right in suggesting that this kind of movie is right for her, but the evidence here makes me wonder whether this kind of movie is worth doing at all. With all its balls and gowns and posh interiors and promiscuous Old World bling, "The Tourist" is tame and timid, suffused with nostalgia for something that was fake in the first place, old-fashioned but lacking any trace of "Ocean's Eleven"-style retro hipness. Sure, it vaguely resembles a movie Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn could have made -- a bad one, now forgotten except by a coterie of aging devotees, who yearn for a piss-elegant lost world of guys in tuxes, women in dresses and dialogue without cuss words. If that's Angelina Jolie's demographic, heaven help her.


    "The Tourist": Can "The Tourist" save Angelina Jolie's career? - Andrew O'Hehir, Movie Critic - Salon.com
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Stupid question cause there's nothing wrong with her career.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Salt did very well at the domestic box office, grossing nearly 120 million. Wanted also did very well.

    Her other movies like "Mighty Heart" didn't do as well.

    So AJ is still one of the steady box office stars that can still sell tickets to big budget action flicks. I don't think her career is in danger yet.

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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Her career is far from in trouble. But I do think it would be good if she stopped taking as many of these action flicks. I want to see her in some more serious dramas, personally.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    So the author of the article is upset that she isn't doing enough "sexy" roles?
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I prefer her in action movies to dramas.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Sure, it vaguely resembles a movie Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn could have made -- a bad one, now forgotten except by a coterie of aging devotees, who yearn for a piss-elegant lost world of guys in tuxes, women in dresses and dialogue without cuss words.

    i love this part of the review.
    and it's so true, i know a lot of people like this.

    i don't think there's anything wrong with her career either - her movies are still making money, she's getting lots of offers, etc. but it's true that she's coasting on her fame and success and taking roles which are either action-oriented, or earnest bore-fests like the marianne pearl disaster or that dumb movie she made with clive owen.
    i can't remember the last time i saw her in anything that was actually good, or that surprised me. at least not since... probably not since mr. and mrs. smith. and yes, that movie had it's faults but taken for what it was (a fluffy thriller/caper), it was a fun movie. before that, i'd say her best roles were in 'girl, interrupted' and 'hackers', which also had its flaws but really entertaining.
    and let's be honest, she was never going to be the next meryl streep anyway. she's got more range than aniston but not by a lot either. i think her fame is due more to her charisma, looks and star quality, than her acting talent.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    She needs to eat a fucking sandwich and stop looking like a wax mannequin
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    She needs to eat a fucking sandwich and stop looking like a wax mannequin
    And this! Lol.
    I pretty much agree with your post, Sput. But I'd say my favourite performances of hers were in Girl Interrupted, Gia, Mighty Heart.

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    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    The reviews I've read are pretty bad. Her accent is terrible. Also they say there's no chemistry between her and Depp.

    I like her as an actress, but I'd never say she was a great one. She's similar to Aniston in that respect. Aniston is good at romcoms and Angelina is good in action flicks. Passably good, mildly entertaining. I'd never go to a theater to see either of them. They're both rent a movie actors to me.


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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Jolie was nominated for an Oscar for "Changline" in 2009. And a year later, this author is talking about saving her career.

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    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    Since when has Jolie's career been at stake? She may not be at her peak with Tombraider and whatnot but she has never wanted for any roles and been passed over for things.

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    Elite Member SuriCruise's Avatar
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    If she gained some weight (fat and muscle) I reckon she could do decent action movies again. I liked Salt but she isn't an 'action star' being this thin, she doesn't look believeable or sexy or anything.

    I like some of her dramatic roles but others are awful. She can bring the crazy but not the accents.

    That review of The Tourist is far too kind. Both her and Depp look awful and really aged, terrible accents, terrible acting, bad script, etc. Shocking.

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    The Tourist :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews

    The Tourist
    Who am I supposed to be?

    Release Date: 2010

    Ebert Rating: **

    By Roger Ebert Dec 8, 2010

    There’s a way to make a movie like "The Tourist," but Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck doesn’t find that way. Here is a romantic comedy crossed with a crime thriller, shot in Paris and Venice, involving a glamorous mystery woman and a math teacher from Wisconsin. The plot is preposterous. So what you need is a movie that floats with bemusement above the cockamamie, and actors who tease each other.

    As the mystery woman, Angelina Jolie does her darnedest. She gets the joke. Here is a movie in which she begins in a Paris cafe, eludes cops by dashing into the Metro, takes an overnight train to Venice, picks up a strange man (Johnny Depp) and checks them both into the Royal Danelli without one wrinkle on her dress or one hair out of place. And is sexy as hell. This is the Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly role, and she knows it.

    Depp is in the Cary Grant role of the obliging, love-struck straight man who finds himself neck deep in somebody else’s troubles. In theory, these two should engage in witty flirtation and droll understatement. In practice, no one seems to have alerted Depp that the movie is a farce. I refer to farce in the dictionary sense, of course: a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations. Depp, however, plays his math teacher seriously and with a touch of the morose.

    The plot involves — oh, hell, you know, the usual mystery man who has stolen millions from a gangster and gone into hiding while smuggling instructions to Jolie, his lover, instructing her to take the train to Venice, etc. And the cops from Scotland Yard who are tailing her in hopes of nailing the guy. And the gangster and his hit men who are also on the thief’s trail. And chases over the rooftops of Venice, dinner on a train, a scene in a casino, designer gowns and a chase through the canals with Jolie at the controls of a motor taxi, and...

    Well, there was really only one cliche left, and I was grateful when it arrived. You know how a man in a high place will look down and see a canvas awning that might break his fall, and he jumps into it? Yep. And it’s shielding a fruit cart at the open-air market and he lands on the oranges and runs off, leaving the cart owner shaking his fist. This is a rare example of the Vertical Fruit Cart Scene, in which the cart is struck not from the side but from the top.


    The supporting roles are filled by excellent actors, and it’s a sign of the movie’s haplessness that none of them make a mark. You have Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton as cops, Steven Berkoff as the gangster and Rufus Sewell as "The Englishman," who must be important because he hangs around without any apparent purpose. Once in London, I saw Berkoff play a cockroach in his adaptation of Kafka’s "Metamorphosis." It might have helped if he’d tried the cockroach again.

    A depressing element is how much talent "The Tourist" has behind the camera. Writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck made "The Lives of Others," which won the 2007 Oscar for best foreign film. The screenplay is by Christopher McQuarrie (Oscar winner for "The Usual Suspects") and Julian Fellowes (Oscar winner for "Gosford Park"), along with von Donnersmarck. It’s based on a French film written by Jerome Salle, which was nominated for a Cesar. All three "Tourist" writers seem to have used their awards as doorstops.

    It doesn’t matter that the plot is absurd. That goes with the territory. But if it’s not going to be nonstop idiotic action, then the acting and dialogue need a little style and grace and kidding around. Jolie plays her femme fatale with flat-out, drop-dead sexuality. Depp plays his Wisconsin math teacher as a man waiting for the school bell to ring so he can go bowling. The other actors are concealed in the shadows of their archetypes. Cary Grant would have known how to treat a lady.

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    Elite Member Deutsche's Avatar
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    Ho's movie career has been down since Mr.Smith-flick, and not to make 20MDollar with Johnny Depp @ Box Office weekend 1 is pretty bad.

    Puh, at least she owns the tabloids.

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