It was a gambit that paid off, according to Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger, who wrote, “This is one movie where the star really is the star.
And delivers a performance of which any actress can be truly proud.” How do you turn one of humanity’s oldest works of literature into a $200 million hit at the box office?
Lisa would have been a showy role for any actress, but for Angelina Jolie, she became a scene-stealing character who breathed a new level of energy into the movie; it was a performance that earned Jolie her first Academy Award, and it proved that her critically acclaimed performance in HBO’s was no fluke.
Writing for Reel Talk Movie Reviews, Betty Jo Tucker applauded, “Jolie enlivens every scene she’s in — so much so that whenever she’s not on screen, many viewers go into a state of suspended animation waiting for her to come back.” didn’t achieve the level of box office success you’d expect from a film starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, and Robert De Niro — and though the reviews were generally full of praise for the stars’ performances, they also included a lot of words like “bloated,” “tortuously paced,” and “too long.” Still, it’s easy to see why director and grown-up Cold War kid De Niro was drawn to the story, and its nearly 30-year sprawl must have been appealing to Damon and Jolie, whose characters met, married, had a child, and drifted apart, all while the nascent CIA worked its way into every facet of their lives.
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