Gia is a 1998 biographical HBO film about the tragic life and times of one of America's first supermodels, Gia Marie Carangi. The film stars Angelina Jolie as Gia and Faye Dunaway as Wilhelmina Cooper, with Mercedes Ruehl and Elizabeth Mitchell. It was directed by Michael Cristofer and written by Cristofer and Jay McInerney. The original music score was composed by Terence Blanchard.

Plot

Gia Carangi (Angelina Jolie) is a Philadelphia native who moves to New York City to become a fashion model and immediately catches the attention of powerful agent Wilhelmina Cooper (Faye Dunaway). Gia's attitude and beauty help her rise quickly to the forefront of the modeling industry, but her persistent loneliness after the death of Wilhelmina drives her to experiment with mood-altering drugs like cocaine.

She becomes entangled in a passionate affair with Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell), a make-up artist. Their love affair first starts when both pose nude and make love to each other after a photo shoot. However, after a while Linda begins to worry about Gia's drug use and gives her an ultimatum; Gia chooses the drugs.

Failed attempts at reconciliation with Linda and with her mother, Kathleen (Mercedes Ruehl), drive Gia to begin abusing heroin. Although she is eventually able to break her drug habit after much effort, she has already contracted HIV from a needle containing infected blood, having already progressed to full blown AIDS. She spends the remainder of her life in the hospital until she dies.

Cast

Reception

Critical reception

Gia was generally well received by critics, with an approval rating of 92% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Kalamazoo Gazette commented: "Jolie gives it her all in a thoroughly uninhibited and highly effective portrait of a woman living from thrill to thrill." Christopher Null of Filmcritic.com gave the film 3 out of 5 stars. Conversely, Film Freak Central gave the film only 1.5 out of 4 stars and commented: Gia isn't hagiography, I'll give it that, but it is reductive to a fault."

Awards

Golden Globes
  • Angelina Jolie – Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • Faye Dunaway – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture
Emmy Awards
  • Eric A. Sears – Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie
Screen Actors Guild Awards
  • Angelina Jolie – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries