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Gia
Gia
I.D. 9062 & dvd_0122, Unrated
1998, 126 min.
HBO Home Video
Directed by Michael Cristofer
 

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Starring
Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Michael Cole, Kylie Travis, Louis Giambalvo, John Considine, Scott Cohen, Edmund Genest, Mercedes Ruehl & Faye Dunaway.

Description
[CC] It's late '70s New York. Studio 54, designer jeans, drugs and disco. One girl is living life in the fast lane. She can have any man -- or any woman -- she wants. Sex, money, glamour, fame. It's all within her reach. She walks toward you across the dance floor, struts toward you down the runway, stares at you from the cover of a magazine. She's a goddess. She's a star. Her name is "Gia."

DVD Features
Please Note: the DVD is only 120 minutes and is NOT THE UNRATED VERSION. The unrated version is available only in VHS. Playable in Region 1 only (USA & Canada), chapter index, interactive menus, cast & crew biographies, photo gallery, multiple language & subtitle tracks (English, French and Spanish).

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Editor
A film about the famous model, Gia, of the 1970s. Gia has several encounters with her girlfriend, we made sure you get the "Unrated/Extended" version, not the Amazon version which cuts out all the GOOD stuff! Please note that the extended version is *only* available in VHS, the DVD is 6 minutes shorter.

Illusion
Yes, this is why we love Angelina Jolie.

Critic: This movie unflinchingly displays the contrast between the glamorous beauty and the hideous abuses that exist in the modeling world. While not preachy, "Gia" is bluntly honest regarding the dark side of glamour. Excellent, evocative writing and direction make this an excellent work, augmented by Angelina Jolie's outstanding performance as the out of control model. Also not to be understated is Faye Dunaway's portrayal of the modeling agent who becomes like a mother to her.
Rating: A

Lover: Gia and Linda have an incredible chemistry together. It is both tragic and beautiful to watch Linda struggle to bring the one she loves from the brink of self-destruction.
Rating: B+

Voyeur: Angelina Jolie has an exotic fiestiness that only enhances her natural beauty. Her eyes entice you, her lips seduce you, her body leaves you begging for more. When she's with Elizabeth Mitchell (also radiant as Linda), their lovemaking is stunning and makes you wish it never had to end.
Rating: A-

CLW
Ok, this is more of a rebuttal to Anonowa's review below, which got under my skin a bit. The other staff reviewers and I have blasted too many bad movies to count -- if we think a movie sucks, we say so. We tell you our honest opinions, and in this case Illusion found the video good enough to recommend. If you share similar criteria for what makes a good movie, you'll find his review valuable -- if not, you won't. End of story. We don't ever, and don't ever need to "plug" (i.e. give a good review to what the reviewer considers to be a bad movie).

As to the erotica content of this movie, first off there is no significant portion given to S&M. There's a brief scene in a decadent nightclub, just long enough to give an idea of the place, but the camera doesn't linger there long. None of the lesbian content involves that theme, so those of you looking for lesbian S&M won't find it here.

Second, there are two points where guys kiss in the movie: a brief cut in the nightclub, and a somewhat longer take earlier in the movie -- at neither point do you even learn the guys' names. It's not feasible to compare between these brief cuts and the fully-developed, turbulent relationship between Gia and Linda, shown in its full from-beginning-to-end history throughout the movie. Perhaps the reviewer saw the shorter DVD version, which significantly cuts from the Gia/Linda nude scenes (though I still don't know where the S&M thing came from). Even then, though, the movie's emphasis is strongly on Gia/Linda.

Anonowa
I can say a lot about this movie, but not about the lesbian scenes. The men kissing each other were more passionate than any "lesbian" kissing. Don't get me wrong: This is a good movie, but the erotica here is not lesbian. It's more sadomasochism.
This would be a review of the movie; unlike the staff "reviewers" who give plugs, rather than reviews, to encourage you to buy it unconditionally. So sue me for being honest.

MartyM (pussynvy)
After seeing Angelina Jolie's more recent work, Tomb Raider, which was horrendous, I didn't have very high expectations for Gia, an HBO movie, which came out previously in 1998. In it, Miss Jolie -- at the height of her beauty and sensuality (and already sporting several of her now famous tattoos) -- appears as Gia Carangi, one of the original supermodels from the '70's; a bad-girl pioneer during a time when models were only beautiful and demure.

There is some great girl/girl footage of Angelina, first posing nude with her future lover, make-up artists Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell), and later falling into bed; classic outtakes of which I had seen -- as had most of the post-pubescent male population-- in numerous men's publications (which probably helps to explain Angelina's amazing popularity among the young male audience); the glamour shots of Angelina as a high fashion model also being wonderful, displaying Angelina's seductive beauty exquisitely throughout the film.

The real surprise of this release, however, in addition to the clever telling of Gia's story documentary-style through the flashback's of those who survived her, is the unexpected twist at the end where Gia, after reaching her zenith, descends rapidly, the story seemingly headed for a cliche'd ending, but taking an unexpectedly sharp left turn and killing her -- not from a drug overdose or suicide as one is expecting -- but from AIDS, Gia becoming one of the disease's first victims, and dying at peace with herself, her beautiful body and face wasting away, shunned by family and friends (when the affliction was less well understood), happiest with her life when facing death; this in stark contrast to the happiness she didn't know when she was well. Angelina's performance -- for which she unsurprisingly won an Emmy -- was magnificent.

As visual as the movie was (given the photogenic topic), one of the most powerful images in the film, in fact, comes at the very end, when Gia rises from her death bed -- surrounded by clean room-suited hospital workers -- miraculously transformed back into her youthful glory as she strides triumphantly towards the camera (and into the after-life), elegantly wearing a bed sheet as a gown, proud of her life's achievements, the words of her poetry on-screen as her epitaph.

Mercedes Ruehl plays an excellent role as Gia's loving and non-judgmental (but a bit too emotionally detached) mother; and Faye Dunaway and Edmund Genest appear as strong and sensitive parental figures; as head of a modeling agency and photographer, who help guide Gia during the most turbulent portions of her seemingly fairy tale life.

My only regret with the movie (and this probably can't be helped since the story is based upon Gia's real existence) is the tale's fatal ending. Is death always necessary for moral redemption when the relationship is taboo? Why can't we have a well-produced feature where two beautiful young women pursue each other passionately -- that ends happily (and not necessarily to the exclusion of men, as is also true in this film)?

This movie, overall, is excellent; and Angelina Jolie's performance is superb. This film should be in every girl/girl lover's collection. I'm glad it's now a part of mine.

rebecca carrie
This movie was perfectly done, and what terrific actresses. I love them both. In my life I am Mitchell and my girlfriend is Gia. How wonderful it is to connect with something.

Anon in 'Bama
The story here of supermodel Gia's tragically short life is kind of a downer, but the erotic chemistry between Angelina Jolie and Elizabeth Mitchell is HOT!!! Basically, beautiful Gia is a tough, down-to-earth model who gets caught up in the 1970's drug culture of New York City and ends up wasting away. But, on her way up, when she first encounters the lovely blonde Elizabeth Mitchell at a photo shoot, THAT'S where this film really takes off! She basically seduces Elizabeth right in front of the camera.

The scene gets hotter still after she takes the girl home and the two women have an incredibly erotic (but not overly explicit) love scene. The next morning Elizabeth tries to leave before Gia awakens, but a beautiful nude Gia follows her to the elevator begging her to stay. I loved it! Angelina Jolie was perfect in this role!

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