The Media and Angelina Jolie

Last Tuesday, Angelina Jolie revealed in a NY Times op-ed that after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene, she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy. As a woman whose career is based on the commodification of her body, Jolie has done more for the stigmatization surrounding breast cancer, gene testing, and reconstructive surgery with just one statement:

“On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

As someone who lives off of celebrity news, I didn’t know about Jolie’s mastectomy until Wednesday afternoon. A full 24 hours had passed by the time I got around to reading the op-ed and the discussions about the impact of Jolie’s revelation. The People and Time magazine covers (pictured below) were already in place for the next week.


I did something unusual after seeing these two magazines in the drugstore. I purchased them. There is something monumentally impactful and fascinating about these magazines. Side-by-side, the differences between how these two publications address this story are astounding. It is soft news vs. hard news; feminized media vs. de-feminized media. Moreover, we see the remarkable nature of Angelina Jolie’s star image. She easily toes the line between all types of media. Continue reading “The Media and Angelina Jolie”

Trailer Fix: The Tree of Life (2011)

Ever since I saw the trailer for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life last week, I have been waiting for it to premiere online. I’ve seen the trailer twice now in theaters and both times it absolutely mesmerized me. (So much so that when a group of teens who had obviously never seen a Malick film before starting laughing at the trailer, I almost turned around to shout at them for ruining the trailer.)

The Tree of Life follows Jack from his 1950s Midwestern childhood through his years as a disillusioned adult and as he attempts to repair his relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Sean Penn plays Jack as an adult. The trailer highlights Malick’s majestic style and will enthrall you.

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Angelina Jolie: Still a Serious Actress?

In this video on, critics Lisa Schwarzbaum and Owen Gleiberman debate the film career of Angelina Jolie. Does she shine better when she has “guns in her hands and high boots” in action movies such as Wanted? Or is she best in more serious films such as A Mighty Heart or the upcoming Changeling?

But my question is: Does Angelina even have a serious film career anymore? Has her personal life with Brad Pitt and their ever growing family made anyone who just glances at the latest tabloid cover completely forget that she has won an Oscar?

I find that I will read any issue of People Magazine with the Jolie-Pitt clan on the cover. (Why not?) I still prefer Angelina Jolie, the actress.

The humantarian aspect of her life is great. But at the end of the day, Angelina Jolie is the reason a movie is good and there is no reason for me to not see a good movie. And for that reason, I don’t care if Angelina Jolie is in an action movie or a serious film. If it’s a good movie, it doesn’t matter what the genre it is (most of the time) and I will see it.

But I’m curious what you think about Angelina Jolie. Sound off below!