Angelina Jolie maintains a deep connection to the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia. Not only was her eldest son, Maddox, born there, but her 2017 critically lauded directorial effort First They Killed My Father chronicled the country’s dark days under the Khmer Rouge. The actress also maintains a home in the country, but details about her secluded property there aren’t readily available to the public. So it’s quite interesting that her latest starring turn in a fragrance commercial for Mon Guerlain “is set in the rural surroundings of Angelina Jolie’s Cambodian home,” according to the French company.
It’s unclear if the bedroom shown in the ad actually belongs to Jolie, but the shots of the country’s breathtaking natural beauty certainly make clear why Jolie enjoys her time there. In the 45-second clip, Jolie flits around in bed in only a sheet, and then jaunts through a light sunshower in the jungle. Jolie agreed to become the face of the perfumer because it was the favorite of her mother, the late Marcheline Bertrand. Jolie’s fees from her work with the brand are said to go directly to charity.
While Jolie’s pervious commercial for the perfume was directed by avant-garde icon Terrence Malick, this time Malick’s longtime cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is at the helm. The Mexican-born Lubezki also collaborates frequently with Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu, and was the first person to win the Cinematography category at the Oscars three years in a row.
It certainly makes sense he’d be chosen for the campaign. The old saying goes that theater is the actor’s medium, television is the writer’s medium, and film is for the directors. Perfume commercials, with their visual spectacle and emphasis on mood and lighting, are the perfect cinematographer’s medium (we say that with all due respect for the medium of perfume commercials).
Jolie’s work with Guerlain, which began in 2017, was one of the first projects she announced after her separation from Brad Pitt, but more recently she’s been quite busy. The upcoming Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will find her facing off against Michelle Pfeiffer (who now has a perfume brand of her own), she’s joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an Eternal, and she’ll play the mother of Peter Pan and Alice (of Wonderland fame) in the upcoming Come Away.