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Ten Deep 1.30.14: Top 10 Angelina Jolie Performances
Posted by Mike Gorman on 01.30.2014

"Top Ten Angelina Jolie Performances"

After the debut of a new trailer during the Grammy's, this week has found people buzzing about Angelina Jolie's upcoming starring role in the live action Disney flick, Maleficent. Before we get to see her take to the screen with two horns and surrounded in green flame, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at some of her more memorable performances here in Ten Deep. The list begins with the first film I ever saw her in…

10. Kate in Hackers

I can't say that Hackers is a film that has aged particularly well when it comes to the lingo, style and technology the film focuses on but it will forever stand in my memory as the first time I saw Angelina Jolie on film and exclaimed, "Who is she?" It was clear in her performance as Kate that Jolie possessed a unique ability to exude charm and intelligence as she stood toe to toe with her male co-stars. It was the first time we saw her put up a strong front and portray a real tenderness beneath it, and it certainly would not be the last.

9. Amelia Donaghy in The Bone Collector

As Amelia Donaghy in The Bone Collector, Jolie managed to hold her own in a role that would have been easily lost beside Denzel Washington's personality. It was Jolie's ability to play reserved and authoritative that helped her give a memorable performance in this police thriller.

8. Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart

In A Mighty Heart, Jolie takes on the challenge of representing true events that surrounded the disappearance and eventual tragic fate of Daniel Pearl. As Mariane Pearl, Jolie infuses intense emotion into scenes that could have read like the narrative of a court proceeding. There is no happy ending to look forward to here. Instead the film is about the journey and Jolie's work makes her a fascinating "guide."

7. Tigress in Kung Fu Panda

Jolie's success as Tigress in Kung Fu Panda comes from her ability to convey her larger than life personality while doing voice over work. She brings to life the past and present of the leader of the Furious Five, in this film and the subsequent follow ups.

6. Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted

Jolie's work as Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted has been praised by many reviewers as one of the film's most real portrayals of what life is like in a mental institution. She is able to reach true emotional depth in her work here avoiding any cartoonish overacting that is often the case when an actor plays a character with mental challenges.

5. Evelyn Salt in Salt

Jolie's work in Salt impresses me because of her ability to maintain a cool and calm demeanor amongst the film's chaotic back drop. She plays a woman whose entire life may turn out to be a lie that she herself believed, and is somehow still able to remain strong. Jolie makes this believable throughout the film.

4. Jane Smith in Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Jolie has shown us that she can play the cool and calm secret agent type roles well, and she replicates that here as Jane Smith in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The new wrinkle that makes this role stand out is her relationship with Mr. Smith (Brad Pitt). This creates new complications for this supposed heartless assassin. It is the moments that they share the screen, during a fire fight or couples therapy, that this film really comes to life.

3. Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Here is the selection I expect to take the most grief over, but I honestly feel like Jolie did a great job inhabiting a role that we all at least knew she'd inhabit the costume of well. Jolie excelled at balancing Croft's upper crust demeanor and action hero side as she went on a serious of mostly ridiculous adventures.

2. Gia Carangi in Gia

It was HBO's Gia that really saw Jolie breakthrough as an actor to be taken seriously. She brought us into the troubled life of model Gia Carangi and the downward spiral that ended her short life. Jolie was able to remind us that these were the actions of a real person and not just a stereotypical hard partying model.

And finally…

1. Christine Collins in Changeling

When you look at Jolie's turn as Christine Collins in Changeling you see that you can't deny that she can bring some real control and skill to her work. Many of the roles we have gone through already were about Jolie filling the screen with her personality and charisma, but here it is the exact opposite. It is Jolie's ability to play the smaller, quieter moments and nuances of this mother who has lost a child that make her shine here.

As I mentioned earlier a new trailer for Maleficent has arrived and here it is. We get to see more action, more of Jolie's Maleficent herself, and are treated to Lana Del Rey's rendition of the Sleeping Beauty classic, "Once Upon a Dream." Enjoy!

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