Monday, December 22, 2008
This one will be hard to find as it's been shoved aside for newer holiday films. I still wanted to see it before Award season and I'm glad I did.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, with his usual attention to detail. "Changeling" tells the true story of a missing child in 1928 Los Angeles. Angelina Joie stars as Christine Collins, a single mother who comes home from work to find her 9 year old son, Walter missing. What follows is an absorbing but tragic story that goes deeper than just an abduction. Christine's treatment by the Los Angeles Police department is a horrendous crime by itself.
Showing great range, Ms. Joie is excellent as Christine. It's amazing that this is the same actress who was so tough and strong in "Wanted". Her frailty here masks an inner strength that rises to the surface over the course of her ordeal. Ms. Jolie does a great job losing herself in the character and keeping the audience involved in her plight.
The film co-stars John Malkovich, Amy Ryan ( who steals her few short scenes), and Jeffrey Donovan. Credit Mr. Eastwood for employing many other actors who are just right for their parts and not stuffed into the film for name recognition. Colm Feore, Michael Kelly, Peter Gerety, and the rest of the cast are all terrific.
One could argue that the film runs too long but that is typical of Mr. Eastwood. He doesn't make short movies. He takes his time to involve his audience and give you a full, rich movie experience.