The ten best Angelina Jolie moments are a mixture of bizarre sex, ridiculous violence, and humanitarianism. Find below what we consider the best of the best in a public life that in 2010 entered its fourth decade.
- U.N. Work. Most celebrities are content to ignore the world’s impoverished. The guiltier ones read books to poor kids every now and again, while liberal causemongers allow their faces to be slapped on posters and give generous donations. Jolie, however, as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador, works to raise awareness for the plight of refugees the world over, and has traveled as far as Ecuador and Thailand for the job.
- Children. Pitt and Jolie have six children; three adopted from either Cambodia, Ethiopia, or Vietnam, and three their own. Their daughter, Shiloh, holds a Namibian passport. In adopting children of different races and nationalities, Jolie draws attention to developing nations and the true global face of the world. In one of her ten best moments, Jolie sold the first photos of her and Pitt’s children for almost $20 million, all of which was donated to charity.
- The Pitt Affair. The anti-Jolie backlash that developed as Pitt’s marriage with Anniston dissolved stunk of xenophobia. The dark, ethnically ambiguous Jolie came under constant fire from tabloids extolling the virtues of stark white, All American Anniston. Ultimately, it was Pitt’s decision, but Jolie’s refusal to lower herself to the level of Hollywood mudslinging is what makes the affair one of her ten best moments.
- House Fight. After all is said and done, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" is pretty uneven. The dinner scene, however, in which Jolie and Pitt destroy their marriage and house with suspicion and guns is a master class in mise-en-scène. Jolie perfectly plays her seductive danger off of Pitt’s affable goofiness. The tongue-in-cheek Hitchockian set piece ends in sex as explosive as the violence, and is one of Jolie’s ten best moments.
- Killing Everyone in the Room. Taken out of the context of genius/idiot-savant Russian auteur Timur Bekmambetov’s "Wanted", the scene in which Jolie kills everyone in the room by shooting a bullet in a giant circle is patently resharted. Given that the film’s plot revolves around a group of assassins who take cues from a magical, self-cognizant loom, however, makes the scene relatively commonplace by comparison.
- Big Easy. Post Katrina, Jolie and Pitt bought property in New Orleans. By moving into the city in the midst of its massive property devaluation and economic plunge, the pair helped raise real estate prices and improve New Orleans’ previous reputation as a damaged, lawless, swamp sweltering with racial tension.
- Gia. For most, seeing Jolie strung out and nude is enough reason to see "Gia". But look a little closer and you’ll see, behind the sordid allure of the sex, drugs, and celebrity, an incredibly brave and vulnerable portrait of the superstar model who succumbed to AIDS. For all of her celebrity, it’s easy to forget Jolie is a great actor. "Gia" seves as a reminder.
- Billy Bob. To connoisseurs of the absurd, Jolie’s relationship with Billy Bob is one of her ten best moments. From the televised admission to having sex in a limo on the way to an awards show to wearing vials of one another’s blood around their necks, the Billy Bob Thornton affair, in retrospect, almost seems too ridiculous to be true from someone who otherwise seems so grounded.
- "Girl, Interrupted". Like "Gia", "Girl, Interrupted" is solid and indisputable proof that Jolie earned her fame. In one of her best moments, Jolie, in her portrayal of a sociopat,h stole the film from star Winona Ryder and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
- Undertaker. According to a 2001 Rolling Stone article, as a teenager Jolie wanted be a funeral director. This helps shed some light on the Billy Bob blood vial extravaganza, and paints Jolie as a multifaceted, somewhat enigmatic figure. For someone who works so hard to improve life on earth, Angie’s early fascination with death is a curious anomaly, and one of her ten greatest moments.
Heath, Chris. "Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic." Rolling Stone. July 2001. Accessed September 8, 2008.