Angelina Jolie, Jack O’Connell, and Miyavi cover the new issue of Variety in support of Unbroken. You know how this worked, right? Variety would for sure have been happy with just Jolie. You can’t go wrong with just Jolie. Did Jolie tell them she wanted to be centred by her two stars?

It’s a compelling photo to begin with in that blue-ish light. And then the three of them, with all that bone structure, as much bone structure as you’ll see on a Chanel runway. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Karl Lagerfeld offers Miyavi a contract by the time this promotional tour is through. But we’re only at the beginning now. And she still has to make her way around the world.

This Variety piece though is specifically targeted at the Oscar voter. The really, really old Oscar voter. The voter who remembers old time war, who already has personal connection to a story like Louis Zamperini’s, and who, at this stage in his life, surrounded by all kinds of social media stimulation he can’t understand, will not only relate to this film but champion it, the way Jolie championed it. Because what you’re supposed to take away from this article is that it took a long, long, long time for Zamperini’s life to become art, and it was Jolie’s passion that finally made it happen.

We are also reminded that Zamperini approved of Angelina, that they were close. We hear confirmation from his children that they were so close, she and Brad were present the night he passed, offering solace and companionship to those he left behind. Yes, Zamperini knew Brad too. Brad excitedly told Zamperini, like an old grandfather, about the first time he drove a tank.

Weaving through the personal details in the piece is information about the business of putting the film together. The Coen Brothers are namechecked (they worked on the screenplay), Roger Deakins was the cinematographer, Alexander Desplat scored it – all because, as suggested, everyone believed in Angelina’s leadership, including her decisions around casting O’Connell and Miyavi. Both of them talk about how it was that they came to their roles, how compassionate Angelina was in helping them secure their parts. That’s what it all hinges on now – her vision, her decisions, her capability as a director. Worthy of one of the five Best Director spots? She'd be the only female representative in that category this year. 

On the one hand, you can say that her considerable influence made Unbroken a contender well before it was even ready. On the other, if Unbroken doesn’t deliver, she’s the only one who will eat it. She will eat all of it. And they will not show mercy.

Click here to read the full article at Variety.