Sunday, January 22, 2012

FOXFIRE (1996)

Directed By: Annette Haywood-Carter
Written By: Elizabeth White
Based on the book By: Joyce Carol Oates
Cinematography By: Newton Thomas Sigel
Editor: Louise innes

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Jenny Lewis, Hedy Burress, Jenny Shimizu, Sarah Rosenberg, John Diehl, Dash Mihok, Peter Facinelli, Chris Mulkey, Cathy Moriarty, Michelle Brookhurst, Elden Henson, Joel David Moore, Shiloh Strong

The story of five teenage girls who form an unlikely bond after beating up a teacher who has sexually harassed them. They build a solid friendship but their wild ways begin to get out of control

What really saves this film from being a clich├ęd teen girl film about finding your own inner strength and character, Is Angelina Jolie’s performance. If it had been seen by more people. It would have been a star making role. She has a charismatic swagger in the film. Like a female James Dean that makes you desire her, Want to be like her or just have her as a friend. She exudes coolness dripping with it all over the screen.

I wish I could say such nice things about the rest of the film. The camera could just lay there except for some curious angles time to time. The lighting of the film is annoying as there must be a certain brightness. No matter the time or location.
The acting by the rest of the cast is ok. The actresses all look too old to be playing teenagers. I was glad to see Jenny Lewis in the cast. One of my favorite Ex child actresses making a return to acting if only for a short while. (She would soon front the band RILO KILEY) She is one of the few actors I ever wrote a fan letter too as a kid (Alyssa Milano, Candace Cameron and Soliel Moon Frye being the others) The only bad actor in the film is model Jenny Shimizu. There were rumors of her and Angelina hooking up. Which would play well into the homo-erotic subtext at the heart of this tale. It has that and a theme of independence. Defining yourself and not being afraid to stand-up foryourself and of course feminism. This was a film that was rented many times by young female college students when I worked at tower video. It was considered a hot title.

I remember wanting to see it in theaters when I was in High School as I was already a fan of Angelina Jolie from CYBORG 2 and HACKERS. She enchanted me early in her career so that by the time she became popular and famous to mainstream audiences. My infactuation had already passed. I was am partly still a fan. She is a good actress and irresistibly beautiful. In the ways that at first Hollywood seemed to shun her for her voluptuous body type and big lips that eventually became a Hollywood standard. She broke the mark then set it. I miss the old Angelina Jolie. It was fun to see her pick various roles that showed a certain bravery and range, but like most stars. Now she plays it more safe with projects and roles you would expect from her. She Is more poised now, Not the crazy more candid woman I remember. I know she is still capable of good films. Though after she won her Oscar she looked like she would be another victim of the Best Supporting Actress curse. That usually see’s the winners without defined careers get high profile roles that bomb commercially and critically and see there career dry up. Since she picked mostly horrible films to be in, but then she found her groove not to mention her image in action films more or less.

The film is a fine rental to see Angelina’s Early work and a good feminism movie.


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