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Movie of the Day: March 7, 2003

cover imageIMDb Movie of the Day
Girl, Interrupted was supposed to be a return to dramatic form for Winona Ryder, but instead became the welcome-to-Hollywood coronation for Angelina Jolie, who ascended from indie and made-for-TV movies to big studio flicks with one well-placed step. Ryder had long had her eye on Susanna Kaysen's stark, unsentimental memoir about life in a mental institution during the pre-flower power 60s, and produced the movie as something of a comeback, as she hadn't really scored a hit since 1994's Little Women, flailing about in misfires such as The Crucible and Alien: Resurrection. Jolie was cast as Lisa, the wild-girl inmate to Ryder's more introspective Susanna, on the strength of her powerhouse performances in Foxfire and Gia, where she burnt up the screen to small but fervent acclaim. And despite a stellar cast that also included Whoopi Goldberg (as a nurse), Vanessa Redgrave (as a therapist) and Brittany Murphy and Clea DuVall as fellow patients, Girl became Jolie's show all the way. With her darting eyes, scraggly hair and balls-out demeanor, Jolie owned the movie in a way her co-star couldn't hope to, despite Ryder's sensitively nuanced performance. And it's quite possible that Jolie won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for one singular moment that cemented her sexy/scary persona for movies to come: faced with a hissing cat, instead of flinching or swiping it away, Jolie calmly assesses it, stares it down and hisses right back. With that, Jon Voight's daughter guaranteed her entrance into movie stardom as a one-of-a-kind bad girl. (-more)

 

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