July 19, 2005
The moment after Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman adopted their two children, the Crawford Prop Kids cracks began. But considering that modern-day Cruise is fully willing to splay himself open for publicity, it’s quite the testament to Cruise and Kidman as parents that those children have never been used for PR’s sake, much less photographed for public consumption.
Turns out that Angelina Jolie is the heir apparent to Joan Crawford’s maternal instincts, with Maddox as Christina Crawford, and the newly acquired Zahara as Christopher Crawford. What brings me to this cynical conclusion is the timing of the formerly bat-shit crazy Jolie turning Uber Mommy just as her Hollywood ship was heading for the Titanic.
In a January 1940 issue of Modern Screen magazine, an article titled “The New Joan Crawford” covers the trials of Miss Crawford trying to shake off being labeled “Box Office Poison.” Writer Ida Zeitlin notes:
“With her eyes on the stars, she forged ahead with but a single goal in view, dropping with regret, but with finality, whatever has threatened to keep her from her goal. She is married to the movies, her philosophy is the movies.”
What Joan got rid of was her 2nd husband, Franchot Tone, and when she “voluntarily stepped from the ranks of the Glamour Girls to try to recoup her former cinematic standing,” that meant changing her image from a man-eating Crystal Allen to an Oscar-winning Mildred Pierce, and that meant instantly becoming a single mother of 2, then a (thrice) married mother of 3, then once again a single mother of 4 (between 1940 and 1947, she adopted 6 children, but only got to keep 4 of them... her own - ahem - Rainbow Coalition, as it were).
The potential for Angelina Jolie’s Mommie Dearest began when she gave up the title of Hollywood’s #1 Nut by becaming an adoptive mother, and with a quick divorce from her 2nd husband, a single mother.
For about a year, she stayed low on the public's radar until she and Brad Pitt humped their way into breaking Jennifer Aniston’s heart and potentially collapsing a huge-budget major motion picture. Before the press could get a good whiff of the damage, "Adoring Mother Jolie" was constantly photographed carrying the adorable Maddox on her hip. Then the press finally got a large bump of Brangelina, and Angelina and Maddox made cute and cuddly for the magazines, the studio and Aniston's lawyers.
Then, The Unconfirmed Brad & Angie have confirmed animal sex once Mr. & Mrs. Smith does not bomb - whew. Aniston then vanquishes her public depression by confessing she wants babies – has always wanted babies. While her divorce lawyers prepare to roast The Heartless Self-Centered Philandering Heel, Brad accompanies his Unconfirmed Girlfriend to the adoption of her second child, then lands in the hospital with the vapors while Angelina effortlessly transitions her image from Sexiest Woman Ever to Mother of the Year in about 4 PR steps. Is she making this huge effort for the love of Brad Pitt, or for the love of her career?
Here’s hoping that Zahara takes as well to the camera as Maddox has, for in Brangelina’s very near future is this: