Should We Be Worried About Angelina Jolie?
Look, I’m not saying every movie needs to be a chuckle-fest. Even Adam Sandler gets dramatic sometimes. And films are certainly a great way to expose people to stories and experiences from around the world, and make those experiences visceral in a way that textbooks can’t.
But guys… I’m a little worried about Angie. I think she might need a break. Every film she directs seems to get more depressing. Struggling marriages, soldiers stuck on rafts, and now the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia? I mean, just take a look at the trailer for her newest film, First They Killed My Father:
I know we’ve discussed the questionable casting practices she used to find her child star for this film (she has since said that Vanity Fair mischaracterized those practices). But even the title alone makes you want to sink further into your chair. And of course it’s based on a true story — this Netflix Original film is an adaptation of the memoir of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung (who co-wrote the screenplay with Jolie). The story follows her character from the age of five, when the Khmer Rouge came to power, to nine years old (covering the years of 1975-1978), as she and her family struggle to stay together - all told through her eyes as she witnesses the events unfold.
To be fair to Jolie, the film does look stunning. She certainly seems to have a directorial eye that finds the beauty in even the most terrible circumstances. And if that Vanity Fair profile is to be believed, she went out of her way to represent the Cambodian people and their spirit, and make this movie for them. I’m not saying I’m not impressed, I’m just saying I sort of hope she picks a lighthearted children’s book for her next project.
First They Killed My Father will launch on Friday, September 15 in theaters and globally on Netflix. So uh… enjoy?