You have to give Angelina Jolie some credit. Only she can take a decent film, give a decent performance, but have a film completely bomb because her name is associated with it. This past weekend, A Mighty Heart came in 10th at the box office, making less than $4 million dollars. Looks like A Mighty Heart has joined the ranks of such classics as Howard the Duck, Glitter, Gigli, and Ishtar. How can this happen? Isn’t Angelina Jolie supposed to be the new age Mother Teresa?
The most offensive part about Angelina Jolie’s casting in this film is the fact that Angelina Jolie was put in blackface to play the role (although it has been stated that Mariane Pearl did approve Jolie for the role). Still, Mariane Pearl is part Black. Couldn’t the producers find someone who was biracial to play the role? Where was Halle Berry? What about a Hispanic actress whose skin tone probably matches Mariane Pearl’s the most? I thought Hollywood stood for liberal ideas. Casting Angelina to play a woman who is part African completely brings us back to the 1950s.
But there’s a bigger problem here. In only seven months, Angelina Jolie has turned from Hollywood’s hottest celebrity to Hollywood’s most hated has-been. A star has not fallen this badly in such a short time since Michael Jackson did back in 1993 after the allegations of child molestation. It all started when Jolie criticized Madonna for “illegally” adopting her son David Banda from Malawi (even though Madonna has yet to be arrested). Soon, several people revealed Angelina’s criminal adoption from Cambodia. Then, she referred to her daughter, Shiloh, as a “blob.”
To further the damage, Angelina turned her mother’s death into a publicity-courting event, posing for several pictures as she went to collect her mother's belongings. The pictures soon appeared on covers of all the tabloid magazines. Still not getting sympathy, Angelina adopted an orphan from Vietnam to join her other adopted children from Cambodia and Africa. As expected, she used her latest child for several photo ops. To top it all off, Jolie tried to have reporters banned from asking her personal questions at the premiere of A Mighty Heart, causing several large news organizations to pull out altogether.
The person to feel sorry for in all this is Mariane Pearl, who hoped her story about the events leading up to the death of her journalist husband Daniel Pearl, as well as the fallout afterwards, would be seen and talked about. It’s a tragic story about a fallen journalist which will forever be marred by its association with an image of a fallen movie star. It’s almost as bad as it would be if Angelina Jolie was cast as Princess Diana, a woman Angelina tried so hard, but ultimately failed, to emulate.
One could certainly blame the low turnout for A Mighty Heart on the subject matter, pointing out that it is too depressing to be released during the early summer. But one can also point to Angelina's falling popularity. One can read Internet forums, (which one year ago were praising Angelina's every move) to see that she is losing fans. I have encountered more than one person who didn't want to see this film solely because Angelina Jolie was involved. They missed a good film, but can you blame their preconceived notions?
One would hope that A Mighty Heart will pretty much end Angelina’s career as an actress. I don't work in the casting field, but I would think that anyone in their right mind would never cast Angelina again because, like A Mighty Heart, it will spell “box office disaster.” She hasn't been in a hit film since Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and that was most likely a hit because of Brad Pitt.
All is not lost for Ms. Jolie, however. I do see her making a couple of great infomercials for tanning creams that make white people look biracial. Then she can join Dionne Warwick on the Psychic Network. In the worst case scenario, she can build worldwide lemonade stands, which will produce jobs for several of her adopted children ($1 for the lemonade, $10 for a picture of the kid with the lemonade).