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TV movie based on the true life story of model Gia Marie Curangi. After leaving her troubled family background in Philadelphia for the bright lights, big city of New York, Gia (Angelina Jolie) is soon picked up as a model and immerses herself in the heady world of fashion and glamour as a distraction from her personal demons. But when her best friend and surrogate mother-figure Wilhemina Cooper (Faye Dunaway) dies, Gia is once again left unsupported and falls into heavy drug use, a move that will eventually destroy her at the age of 26.
Gia is a made-for-TV HBO film that stars Angelina Jolie as supermodel model Gia Carangi, who went from high school to the cover of British Vogue in less than two years. Carangi appeared on many more covers of Vogue (French, British, Italian, and American) and Cosmopolitan before dying of complications from AIDs (she was an IV heroin user) in 1986. Jolie comes by her talent honestly: she's the daughter of veteran actor Jon Voight, and her own training as a model serves her well here--she has the moves. Throughout, she's heartbreaking--as no doubt the real Carangi was--effective, and stunning. With good source material (Stephen Fried's A Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia), Jolie's stunning performance, and strong directing by Michael Cristofer, the movie goes beyond the merely sensational. The script was co-written by Cristofer and novelist Jay McInerney, whose Bright Lights, Big City covers similar territory. As a cautionary tale, Gia works. But to watch Jolie in her character's tragic self-destruction is utterly compelling. --NF Mendoza, Amazon.com
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Having had an unstable home in Philadelphia from 1960 with an errant mother who encouraged her to get on in life thinking' you can rest when you're dead'. Moving up to New York,she hustled on the street and then began to meet photographers and model agents; one agency run by Wklhemina takes her on and Gia's career began. At this stage, Gia met Linda,a blonde model with whom she had an up-and-down lesbian relationship which began with an after-hours nude shoot.
Gia always did need an anchor in her life and that was given by Wilhemina and Linda who went on to find a boyfriend. Gia goes all over the world or at least the fashion centres of Paris and Milan, meeting arty photographers who provided all the pictures for magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan but it was a high-speed,high-energy relentless existence which she could never maintain without mental discipline. However, Wilhemina died and Gia's moorings show the first signs of being cast adrift first by drinking and being unreliiable on shoots to the back-alley world of drugs like cocaine first and then heroin. Eventually, she could not work although genuine friends point the way to clinics which could help her with her addiction. She returned to Linda who promised support as soon as the relationship between her and narcotic ended. Gia agrees but a few minutes later is taking some up the nose in Linda's shower. That ended that reconciliation but the fiilm depicted her final humiliation when she steals money, heads for the back alley again and is badly beaten by her dealers. However, the damage had already been done. Gia had collapsed with a bout of pneumonia which was treated but also revealed that she had contracted the new infection of AIDS, probably caught from an infected needle. It is Linda who was there for her at her terminal stay in hospital and to whom Gia gives the journal about her exotic but ultimately deadly life.
This piece of cinema verite was most engrossing showing a world of surfaces and relentless manipulation. Models were just 'meat' in some cases, a way to make serious money from the world's elite who are obsessed with the latest fashionable styles. The working life of models was sometimes short but not all of them went down Gia's road She was upfront and confident but was snared by her own weakness which was given impetus by the money she was earning. The lack of stability and a genuine loving relationship led her to self-destruction - unfortunately a familiar story in the worlds of pop and fashion but, nevertheless, very sad.
Shows the first signs of HIV in those early days.
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