Gia

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Gia: Not Quite Accurate Story of an Amazingly Sad Life

May 29, 2000 (Updated Jun 14, 2000)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Angelina Jolie's amazing performance

Cons:Movie takes many liberties with the published true facts of Gia's life, skims over some important moments in Gia's short life

"Gia" is the "true" tale of 70's supermodel Gia Carangi--a lesbian heroin addict who eventually died of AIDS in 1986.

Angelina Jolie is perfect as Gia. Her performance is honest and devastatingly painful to watch. However, my biggest complaint with the movie "Gia" is that it claims to be an accurate look at the real Gia's life.

Real people become amalgams in this movie. Gia's makeup artist girlfriend is actually a composite of several different women in real life. Photographers and other models are amalgams of real life people also.

This movie also takes poetic license in certain aspects of Gia's life. Just how did Gia turn to heroin? In the movie, we see her in a limo with another model and the other model gives Gia powdered heroin for the first time. In Stephen Fried's book "Thing of Beauty," Gia's turn to heroin is never quite known for sure.

I think the movie does justice in detailing Gia's troubled relationship with her mother. Gia's mother is somewhat clueless as to just what made her daughter tick, and she seems unable or unwilling to accept any blame for Gia's emotional problems that stemmed from being deserted by her mother at the age of 11.

Some of the movie's dialogue is taken directly from Fried's conversations with the people who knew Gia and also from Gia's diaries.

I recommend this movie as a well-made drama of the life of a heroin-addicted lesbian who became one of America's first AIDS victims. Gia chased death with pure abandon and managed to become a huge modeling success in the meantime. But by the time that Gia realized she really wanted to live life, it was too late for her.


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