Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Changeling Movie Review

A gripping drama from Clint Eastwood.

Changeling is a three time Oscar nominated film that is based on real life events in the 1920s.

The film was directed by Clint Eastwood, who also co-produced this film with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Robert Lorenz.

The film stars Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, Jeffrey Donovan, Academy Award nominee John Malkovich, Jason Butler Harner, Colm Feore, and Michael Kelly.

The setting is in the year 1928 in Los Angeles, Ca. Single mother Christine Collins, played by Jolie, returns home to find her nine year-old son, Walter Collins, missing. Soon the case attracts media attention. Five months later, the Los Angeles Police Department tells Collins that they found her son in Illinois. A public reunion is organized and Collins anxiously awaits to have her son back. But the surprise ends immediately when she notices that the young boy is not her son. Captain J.J. Jones, played by Donovan, tries to avoid embarrassment from the media by insisting to Collins that the boy is really her son, and even pressures her to take the boy home to live with her.

Soon Collins diligently goes against the police department, with the help of Reverend Gustav Briegleb, played by Malkovich, to publicize the corruption of the police and how they went above the law to keep Collins quiet, rather than admitting that they made a mistake.

When you hear this story it's hard to imagine that these events really happened.

Jolie is absolutely stunning in this film and her acting is impressive, which is why she was nominated an Oscar for Best Actress for her role.

Jolie’s role in this film is quite different from her other movie roles. She usually plays as an empowering, independent, seductress-type of woman. But in Changeling, she comes off mostly quiet, modest, soft spoken, yet determined to find her missing son. Jolie really comes off as the underdog in this film.

Most people will enjoy the great acting from Jolie, Malkovich and Donovan in this movie.

*Movie Spoiler Included*

However, some might not be so happy with the film’s ending, because, like in real life, Collins never finds out what really happened to her missing son. Did he escape from the serial killer Gordon Northcott, played by Harner, or not? There is no final ending in this film, which does feel like a let down. But it does make you really sympathize with the single mother’s situation. When it seemed like she was about to get some type of closure, it failed to fall through. For some viewers this can feel frustrating, but this gave Collins hope that her son might still be alive.

Changeling is rated R and contains violent and disturbing content and language.

Reviewer's Rating: 8 out of 10

Written by: Bridget Campos

Originally posted on March 3, 2009

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