Our selected star to be included in our “Hollywood Actress of the Week Photo Gallery” is Angelina Jolie
In 2011, Jolie made her directorial feature debut with In the Land of Blood and Honey, a love story between a Serb soldier and a Bosniak prisoner of war, set during the 1992–95 Bosnian War. She wrote the script after twice visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina in her role as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, with the aim of rekindling attention for the survivors of a war that took place in recent history. To ensure a sense of authenticity, she cast only actors from the former Yugoslavia, most of whom lived through the war—including stars Goran Kostić and Zana Marjanović—and incorporated their experiences into her script. The resulting film, which she also co-produced, was released in U.S. theaters entirely in the Serbo-Croatian-Bosnian language.
In the Land of Blood and Honey received mixed reviews from critics. Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times criticized its “contrived plot points,” but ultimately acknowledged that, as a first-time director, “Jolie accomplishes much in such a difficult area as the Bosnian war.” Writing for The New York Times, Manohla Dargis likewise criticized Jolie’s script, noting the story’s “somewhat awkward instructional, at times almost proselytizing aspect,” but opined that, for the most part, the film “moves briskly and easily holds your attention.” The film won the Stanley Kramer Award from the Producers Guild of America, which honors films that highlight provocative social issues, and received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It aroused both praise and criticism in the Balkans; the response from Bosniak war-victims advocacy organizations was “overwhelmingly positive,” while a Serb war prisoners group decried the film for its alleged anti-Serb bias. Sarajevo’s regional government named Jolie an honorary citizen of the capital for raising awareness of the war.
After a three-year absence from the screen, Jolie stars in Maleficent. She plays the titular role of Maleficent, the main antagonist from Disney’s 1959 animated feature Sleeping Beauty. The film will show the original story from Maleficent’s perspective, revealing the character’s background. She also directed “UNBROKEN,” a film about World War II hero Lou Zamperini, a former Olympic track star who survived a plane crash over sea and spent two years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Joel and Ethan Coen rewrote the script, based on Laura Hillenbrand’s biography Unbroken.
Photos by PRPhotos.com