Friday, October 24, 2008

Eastwood and Jolie work together to create a compelling sory

CHANGELING is a historical thriller from Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood. Angelina Jolie stars as a mother whose son disappears in 1928 Los Angeles. When he returns months later, she realizes that he is not her child.

In March 1928, Christine Collins' (Jolie) nine-year-old son Walter (Gattlin Griffith) vanishes. Five months later, the LAPD, already under the gun for other unsolved crimes, calls out the press and delivers to Christine a boy who claims to be her son but is not. To avoid embarrassment, Captain Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) demands she take the boy home on a "trial basis." When she continues to insist that the LAPD needs to find her real son, Jones does what the department always does with troublesome citizens -- he locks her up in a psycho ward. A radio minister, Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), takes up her cause and challenges the police version of events. Meanwhile, another officer, Detective Ybarra (Michael Kelly), launches an investigation into a potential serial killer (Jason Butler Harner) that not only proves Christine's contention but exposes the force, its chief and the mayor to the wrath of a citizenry fed up with living in a police state.
The fact that they would bring her someone that was not her son is enough to shame any police department. Christine repeatedly tells them that it's not her son. And only she would know and after 5 months there would not have been much of a change. ANY mother would recognize their child no matter how long apart they were. And then the LAPD try to classify her as crazy. How wrong is that? I must works. and the fact that it is a true story makes it even more compelling. Written by J. Michael Stracyznski, directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Angelina Jolie in this extraordinary, but true story. A beautifully directed period piece which shows corruption in the LAPD that in the midst of covering their own asses decide to stop doing their job and pass off a child to Ms. Collins and claim that it's her son. Then the later revelation that he was picked up by some psycho child killer was intriguing and terrifying at the same time. The ending was a little sad for me because we find out that little Walter Collins may have gotten away, but its never revealed if he makes it home or if he was caught and murdered later. A sad story with strong performances from Jolie, Donovan, Malkovich, and Harner (as the serial killer). This is one to see, if not for the emotional ride then for Jolie alone in one of her best performances. A Strong 5 on my "Go See" scale.

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