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Plot: Los Angeles, 1928. Single mother Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) returns from work to find her nine-year-old son Walter (Gattlin Griffith) gone. She calls the L.A.P.D. to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description, and he says he's her son. To… Runtime: 141 min Release Date: 31 Oct 2008
Eastwood and Angeline deliver a strong punch (by aharmas)
There is nothing more reliable than Eastwood behind the camera, with his assured touch his films are never boring or deliberately confusing, hiding technical devices or special effects that detract from the most important part of movie making: a good screenplay, a good story, good acting. For the past 10 years, many films have been unduly praised because they have one or two great performances, unfairly leaving many good and deserving movies without the recognition they deserved. Eastwood has however, given us the whole package time after time, with movies as varied as "Mystic <more>
River", "Letters", "Million Dollar Baby" and now "Changeling". True, there is a link, they are all strong films, with themes that deal with pain and loss, but the stories are different, the settings require an amazing attention to detail, what they all share is a strong focus, and interestingly enough, superb performances.Eastwood has paved the way to acting honors for Penn, Freeman, Swank, Hackman, and others that were continuously ignored by the Academy. There is no denying the power of their performances in Eastwood's movies, and that leads to the center of this film: Jolie. I read recently that her performance has been attacked as being affected and the attempt of a star to look normal. Putting aside those silly and biased remarks, let's state something clearly, the lady has given us a fantastic tour de force, proving that she can be both a star when looking at the other cameras, but that when she is working for a director, she gives her best, regardless of what our perception of her private life might be. If you are a critic with a personal disapproval of that persona, keep it to yourself, concentrate on the film and the work of the performer.As the mother who desperately wants the truth about her child, Angelina is flawless. We can read the pain in her eyes, the determination and the disturbing reality that her obsession might be having unexpected results, but one thing is clear, there is a drive that won't quit, and it's admirable for those of us who want her to be reunited with her child, and it's quite inconvenient for the people who have other interests at hand.Her battle with the folks at LAPD is of epic proportions, and it is amazing that she held on to her goal of exposing the corruption that she encountered as she searched for her missing boy. There are some horrific moments in the film, as we relieve some of the injustices and Gothic horror of places like the hospital in this film. There are also some background scene that might or not reveal what really happen. There are moments when one is a bit exhausted from all the information the film delivers, but every moment is worth it. It is all framed with an expert hand, and it is anchored by the very powerful work by Jolie and the rest of an amazing cast that brings to life emotions such as madness, anger, pain, sorrow, and many times, disbelief that humans can be capable of such terrible actions.The film contains amazing production values, as we are taken back to an era that doesn't exist anymore. The recreation of the time Los Angeles was on its way to being a real city is incredible, as we see it before it fell apart and spread all over a gigantic geographical area, losing its identity. The musical score is a sweet melody that hints at the love and pain themes in the film, and there are some moments bound to become classic, as children tell the stories that adults might not want to face or believe.All in all, "Changeling" may be very difficult to sit through, but it is not less impressive, effective or good than any of the last five films Eastwood has made. As a matter of fact, it's just one masterpiece from the man who could teach Hollywood a few lessons.
Summary says it all, this is the most challenging film so far of 2008. Deep and daring, Clint exposes corruption within LAPD in this period piece. Brilliantly executed and finally a performance I appreciate from Angelina. Also stellar performances by John Malkovich, as well as Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, and others. This film drives it home which any parent can appreciate and will remember for some time.This is not your typical drama, but also a suspense filled thriller that had people in the theater crying, clapping, and closing their eyes.Still need to see The Wrestler, and <more>
The road, but as of October 2008, CHANGELING best picture, and very possible, Best Actress Angelina Jolie.
You must go see this movie. YOU MUST GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! I'll admit I didn't know what to expect when my wife asked me to go to this movie. And of course having Jolie in it she didn't have to twist my arm to much. We had to go out of town to see it because our local theater wasn't showing it. The acting by Jolie was great. Eastwood's direction was great. And the 20's and 30's look to the movie was so realistic. I learned some things about this time frame by watching this movie. So not only did I enjoy the movie I learned a little bit along the way. This is a <more>
Rated R movie so I wouldn't take kids to it because there are a couple disturbing moments in the movie. If this movie doesn't get some Oscar nominations I will be very surprised. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!
Watching this film is like taking a look back in time. Everything is picture perfect, the beautiful automobiles, the red electric street cars, the telephones, the switchboard station with roller-skating supervisors, the house appliances, and the outstanding clothing, from dresses to hats to police uniforms, everything is meticulously detailed. The story, which we are told is true, is complex and multifaceted. Angelina Jolie, who plays Christine Collins, gives an outstanding performance as a single mother who returns home from work to find that her son is missing. This puts into motion a <more>
series of events that exposes the reality of what Los Angeles society was really like in the late 1920's. Corrupt Police, uncaring and self absorbed mental health professionals and the basic premise that people left to their own ambitions will do anything to secure their own prosperity. Although this paints a bleak picture of the human condition, the film show that the actions of a few good men can make a world of difference, John Malkovich as Reverend Gustav Briegleb, is determined to expose the corrupt Police in his radio talk show, Michael Kelly as detective Lester Ybarra, although hampered by his superiors, uncovers what really happened to the boy and the unlikely hero, a powerful attorney who takes her case pro-bono comes to her rescue. If indeed this is a true story, then to see these people stand up to the powers that be is a ray of hope to all of us that there were people who were strong and principled. We can only hope that there are still people like that out there today.
Grueling and scary search for truth. (by joestank15)
Changeling - In 1928, Single mother Christine Collins Angelina Jolie returns home one day to discover her nine-year-old son, Walter, is missing. She calls the police and, after enduring a grueling 24 hours, they search for her son. But the boy they return to her is not her son. After confronting corrupt city authorities, Collins is vilified as an unfit mother and sent to an asylum.This is a grueling film to watch. I have not felt this hideous since North Country, a film which also dealt with misogyny within the power structure. Women are treated as fragile, emotional, and not believable. <more>
This film tackles corruption to boot, as the LAPD is accused of being a gang of thugs that answer to no one. Eastwood is old school with the violence, understanding that the mind can fill in the very brutal gaps.Angelina Jolie delivers another great performance. But unlike A Mighty Heart, this film actually deserves her presence. I don't think she really should have so much press coverage, but there is definitely reason for her acclaim as an actress. The situation her character goes through is so surreal and the film captures it perfectly. It gives you chills from the second Christine is given this pretender to raise and rarely lets up. And if for one moment you tell yourself "It's just a movie" as I tried to, this s*** actually happened. Characters were composited or changed, a disclaimer at the end states, but the events were the same.An odd praise goes out to Jason Butler Harner, who plays Gordon Northcott, a kidnapper and murderer of many children. He has played one of the monsters of everyone's nightmares to perfection. Also of note is Jeffrey Donovan for his portrayal of J. J. Jones, corruption personified. Jones is a man able to whisk people away to asylums with no need of warrants. Scary indeed.Changeling shares a theme with several of Clint Eastwood's other films. Unforgiven and Flags of Our Fathers come most readily to mind. His lesson concerns truth and lies, and exposing the hypocrisy of falsehoods for want of the truth. The truth is rarely pretty, but generally preferable to lies, and will often come to surface, if given enough time. I doubt I will watch this struggle for truth for a long time to come it's not one for casual viewing , but it's a very good film.A-
Angelina Jolie, for outstanding performance in Changeling.Wow, I think I need to calm down a bit. I was skeptic at first to see this movie but I don't regret spending 900 króna's I'm from Iceland so that's very expensive on a movie ticket to see the best movie I've seen in a long time. And I encourage everyone to do the same, go see Changeling.This movie has everything; a terrific story based on true events, outstanding acting from everyone of the cast, excitement, tears, blood and it holds you tight until the end. And I won't forget the magic behind the camera <more>
provided by the genius Clint Eastwood.Angelina's character is terrific and she fights, what seems to be at first a lost fight, for her son in a world controlled by men. You learn to hate some characters in the movie and love others. You learn to feel for Angelina's character and hope the movie ends well. Changeling will make you cry and when you walk out of the theater after this fantastic film you feel both good and satisfied.Angelina was so good and convincing in this movie that I could not believe my own eyes and ears. And John Malkovich was very good too but Angelina is the rock of this movie. She carries it on her shoulders and Clint Eastwood directs her like...like...I don't know what to write anymore, I'm still calming down. I'm going to stop now and finish the review with these two sentences: If Angelina Jolie gets an Oscar nomination for her acting she deserves to win. Just go see Changeling and Angelina's acting will blow your mind.
Sort of Awesome, Sort of Annoying (by morgangster)
Clint Eastwood's newest project, Changeling, is sort of awesome, sort of annoying. The true story of Christine Collins, a telephone operator and single mother in 1928 Los Angeles, has a promising script and cast, but fails to accomplish any major feats on screen. At times the dialog feels forced. For example, when Jolie adds an ambient "Sport" moniker or makes references to Cleopatra. It's as if Eastwood is saying to the audience "Yes, this really is 1928, I promise." Historical accuracy is important in a film claiming truth, but Changeling is a bit like scaling a <more>
wall there is not much to hold on to.But what little there is to hold on to is both enjoyable and sophisticated. Angelina Jolie, who plays Christine, gives a convincing portrayal of a mother who returns home from work to find that her son Walter is missing. In fact, Jolie might have scored a career best performance with Changeling, but it is hard to say whether or not this is enough to carry the film.Jolie holds her head high as a mother who loses her son and receives little help from the Los Angeles Police Department during the search. The 1920s were wrought with scandal for the L.A.P.D. and Christine Collins find herself in the midst of them. After months of search, the police return Walter to Christine only to find that she denies that he is her son. Despite the mounting evidence supporting her claim her Walter is uncircumcised, the new Walter is not; the new Walter is 3 inches shorter, etc. , the police continually deny that there is anything wrong. Because of the recent scandals, the L.A.P.D does not want to admit any wrongdoing with the Collins case.The tone of this story seems to border between over-the-top melodrama and a dead-on homage to 1930s dramatic style. This is most notable in the scenes featuring Captain J.J. Jones Jeffrey Donovan whose performance is cookie-cutter bad cop for the period. Eastwood navigates the "bad cops" with ease and never allows them to become satire, but it borders on the edge. Likewise with the necessary court scenes in the latter portion, Eastwood makes the material work, even if just barely. It is hard to diminish the negative affects of these melodramatic choices, but then again, it is a story about true events. Who am I to say whether or not the courtroom proceedings actually had that much fervor and zest? It is hard to find fault in conceivable truth.Another strong performance in the film comes from John Malkovich as Reverend Gustav Briegleb, a man determined to expose the misdeeds of the Los Angeles Police Department via his radio show. Briegleb vows to help Christine in her quest for her son as he believes that "Walter" is not the same boy. Malkovich gives a convincing role as a man of God, a man of principle, and a man of determination. He plays the hero, but never saddles up his white horse. His heroics come naturally as a man who wants the best for his city and the people within it his mission is never glitzy, never self-indulgent.Malkovich and Jolie together save the one part of the film that could have poisoned the entire piece. When Miss Collins refuses to be quiet on the issue of her son and is convinced by Briegleb to go public with the misdoings of the police, she is whisked off to a mental ward. Until she admits that she is making the whole impostor-son bit up, she will remain in the ward. The mental ward scenes were in complete discord with the rest of the film. The inclusion of stereotypical elements like electro-shock therapy and evil nurses allowed these scenes to toe the line of ridiculousness. If it were not for a convincing and levelheaded performance from Jolie, nothing good would have come from these scenes. And when Malkovich's character swoops in to save her from the grips of the ward and the police, it never once feels trite. Eastwood should really thank these two and consider the possibility of never, ever filming any hospital-like scenes ever again.The unsaturated color choice for the film gives an immediate feeling of doom and sadness for the picture, but a more upbeat, stylized look might have complimented the film better. The cinematography attempted to mirror the motif of the film but ended up missing the mark and falling more into dark and muddled than stylistically relevant.With the film clocking in a 140 minutes, it is impressive that it never feels that long. Eastwood navigates through a significant chunk of time with little duress and manages to take on a troubling story without being all too troubling. Easily an audience favorite and definite Oscar-bait, as the United States release is set for November under the title "The Exchange." This film is mass of "in-betweens." It is neither complex nor simple; neither heartfelt nor underwhelming. I find it hard to love it, but I do not hate it either. That's the problem: nothing clicks. It is within this realm that I find this film, more than anything else, a tad bit frustrating. It is a virtuous attempt and no doubt going to do well both in box office numbers and with awards. But because of that, I wanted more punch. I wanted more zing, more attitude. The film melts quickly in my mind and becomes just another biopic that might soon be forgotten. A little originality is crucial, especially for a film being considered for the Cannes Film Festival's highest honor. This film leaves me generally satisfied all whist thinking, "Come on, Clint. You could've done better."
Not Eastwood's best, but better than most. (by bobsgrock)
Clint Eastwood is one of the legends of the silver screen, from his humble beginnings as the Man With No Name in Sergio Leone westerns to Dirty Harry the kick-butt cop. As a director, he has given us some of the finest stories we could ever see, including the Oscar-winning Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, and the war epic twins Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. With his new film, he explores the dark side of the earlier part of the twentieth century in Tinseltown Los Angeles . Taken from true events, the story unfolds that a single mother Christine Collins has lost her <more>
nine-year old son, Walter. She asks the LAPD to intervene, and about two months later, her son is returned. Then, she says it isn't her son. She never looks back.From the moment the young boy steps off the train, Christine insists to everyone that he is not her son. Unfortunately, the police say she is delusional and just upset. The films leads to the truth of the matter, which is that the corruption in the department has led to them being lackadaisical in their duties. The story moves along fluidly, yet we are never really told the reason that corruption resides.Nevertheless, the film is quite an experience. It looks terrific and really feels like the 1920s in Los Angeles. Angelina Jolie is solid as Christine, yet I felt she seemed more whiny at times than desperate. It just didn't move me as strongly as Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. The supporting cast is good as well, especially John Malkovich as the pastor eager to help Christine in the fight against the LAPD. What I really wanted was that emotional pull that Eastwood's other films had. This one seemed a bit cold and ruthless, despite that being its subject material. So, I would say to go and see it; it is definitely worth the 140 minutes. As for Oscar time, I can't say for sure that it will wrap up the big ones such as Best Picture, Director or Actress. It wasn't the strongest campaign I've seen, but then again this has been a weaker year than 2007.
Another triumph for Eastwood and Jolie! (by yamar)
Clint Eastwood returns to "Mystic River" territory in this period piece that digs deeper into LAPD's past in corruption. Anybody who thought that LAPD's bad reputation is recent would be shocked to find that it was as bad in the 1920's. Angelina Jolie delivers a powerful performance as a wronged mother whose son disappears. To add insult to the injury she's further abused by the LAPD who instead of finding her missing son, trying to use her for their benefit. The film has some minor problems with its length and the overbearing score by Eastwood as well but hopefully <more>
it will get fixed before its release in the fall. YRCinema's coverage of the Cannes Film Festival. For more coverage please visit http://yrfilms.blogspot.com/.