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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I want MY son!",
This review is from: Changeling (DVD)Angelina Jolie stars as Christine Collins whose nine-year old son vanished from their Los Angeles home in 1928. She met with little cooperation from the police, and when they finally found the boy and brought him back home, she said, "That's not my son."
This movie was based on a true story and directed by Clint Eastwood in a gritty, no-frills style. There isn't a lot of action, but it definitely holds your interest until the very end. Jolie gives a strong performance as the mother who wouldn't stop looking for her son, even when she battled the corrupt police chief. Jolie is on-screen just about every minute and is a formidable screen presence. She and the rest of the cast, including John Malkovich, are all good in this very somber and intense piece.
The costumes, sets, and locations are perfectly done in 1920s style and the photography uses a lot of natural light adding to the old-fashioned feel. The movie about a mother's love and police corruption is fascinating, but it's also relentlessly grim and left me feeling quite depressed. A well-made movie, though.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accept what you cannot change, change what you cannot accept.,
In the process the actors he has worked with have been blessed with Academy Awards: Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby, Sean Penn and Tim Robbins in Mystic River,and Gene Hackman in Unforgiven.
With his other movie of 2008, Gran Torino, as Director and Actor he has delivered one of the best movies of the year, and one of his own most memorable performances, and now delivers another outstanding movie in Changeling.
Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for Girl Interrupted. Changeling marks her second nomination.
A huge amount of credit for this movie though must go to writer J Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, who got a call one day, and the caller said: "We're throwing out some old records, and there is something you gotta see." A true story that beggars belief.
Christine Collins' son was kidnapped, and the police returned to her 5 months later a boy who said his name was Walter Collins, but she said he was not her boy. Her protests fall on the deaf ears of Police Capt JJ Jones played by Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice. So begins one of the most notorious coverups of an already disreputable police department.
The attention to detail in the story is nothing short of incredible, particularly in the mental hospital scenes, which are very true to life. The psychiatrist excels at twisting her story to make her look nuts, using double binds to manipulate her, you're either lying or you're nuts, simultaneously threatening and cajoling her, with unknown potentially dangerous drugs or electric shock treatments. Threats which he characteristically carries out. Amy Ryan plays the tart with a heart, an ally who explains the system, a small but very important role, and shocking.
Oftentimes the Hollywood idea of a true story takes many liberties with the facts, distorting the actual events. In this case, as far as I can discern nearly everything important is true, including meeting Northcott in San Quentin.
A couple of minor facts have been changed. Her husband was in jail at the time of her son's kidnappping for armed robbery, not the explanation she gives her son. A fact left out of the movie was that she pursued Capt JJ Jones legally for years, won judgments but never got any money out of him.
What is up with Jeffrey Donovan's accent? He occasional lapses into a highly dubious stage Oirish accent, (which he probably got off his Burn Notice ex girlfriend, whose Oirish accent is also highly suspect).
Angelina plays the part very well, neither going for hysteria nor a victim/martyr portrayal which would have ruined the movie. She is more the reluctant crusader, who wins important allies along the way, changing important laws in LA.
Clint Eastwood apparently wrote the music for the movie. The sequence of music with the montages at the end is particularly good. I also loved the performance of the good cop.
Truly this is an outstanding movie. I think you will love it, and I hope this was helpful.
5.0 out of 5 stars Eastwood masterpiece.,
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The kid is not my son!,
This review is from: Changeling (DVD)Christine Collins: The boy they brought back is not my son.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. A single mother's only son is missing
2. It takes five months for the Police to reunite the mother and the boy who said "I am the one"
3. But she knew that the kid was not her son
4. The Police Captain insisted: "Don't go Changeling. She'll love you just the way you are"
5. But she didn't
6. ... and she learned the hard way why the Police Force had such a bad reputation
7. They said she was crazy
8. But she never gave up, always hoping that her son had flown the coop.
Based on a true story, this heartbreaking movie may be difficult to watch, especially if you're a parent. A mother's greatest nightmare comes to life when her only child goes missing, and this unfortunately is just the beginning of a sordid tale of incompetence, stubbornness, malice, abuse of power, madness and murder.
Angelina Jolie more than earns her Oscar nomination as Christine Collins, the young mother at the center of this story, and good performances are also seen from John Malkovich as a fiery Presbyterian minister, Amy Ryan as a wronged woman, and Jeffrey Donovan as the Police Captain that you'll hate for a long time.
Recommended for fans of true crime stories, Angelina Jolie, and period movies that nail the sets and wardrobes.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mother's Love Knows No End!,
This review is from: Changeling (DVD)This movie has a lot going for it right from the start. The director, Clint Eastwood, has created a stirring and riveting story based on a true-life account of a Los Angeles mother's long and painful attempt to find her son after he was abducted in 1928. Its key performances, such as Angelina Jolie playing the distraught mother and John Malkovich the activist pastor, while not outstanding, are still credible and competent. Eastwood brings the story together in all its complexities around the crusading actions of the mother, Christine Collins, as she takes on, with the help of others, a corrupt LAPD who would rather cover up than get to the bottom of her case. Don't expect a lot of high drama in this production because Collins's search for the truth is a long, drawn-out affair that is only sustained by her patient persistence in getting at the truth. As a period film "Changeling" effectively captures life in the big city during American Roaring Twenties: the advent of the Model T; the popularity of the feminine flapper look with the flat chest, short hair and shapeless dresses; and the presence of the double breasted suits and homburgs for men. This picture definitely represents this era in accurate detail. Where the filmmaker comes up short in his efforts to produce a epic film that tells a story and entertains at the same time is near the end. Here, Eastwood, in his attempt to work within the facts, is forced to leave the viewer somewhat suspended as to how the mother's search for her son, Walter, finishes. Yes, the viewer would like to see a traditionally satisfactory finish to this sorry tale but it is not meant to be because Eastwood is a thorough realist. What he does leave us with is a bit of sop. While "Changeling" is very sad story throughout that contains many dark moments and fear and wickedness, Eastwood takes its main themes of courage and heroism to new levels in the fading moments. Overall, a magnificent production that portrays the emotions of the time in all their rawness and intensity.
5.0 out of 5 stars Changeling,
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Changeling by Clint Eastwood (DVD - 2009)