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Movie Review: Changeling

Changeling 4/5

This is the film made by Clint Eastwood starring Angelina Jolie and not a story about a security officer on Deep Space Nine. I really liked what Clint did in 2006 with the 2 films of the same story from different perspectives in ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’ and ‘Flags of our Fathers’ so I was eagerly anticipating what he would do next. He came out with Changeling penned by former journalist Michael Straczynski.

Basing the film on true events back in 1928 and with a seemingly strong script, Changeling drew the interest of the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Hilary Swank for the lead role of Christine Collins. Clint approached a sceptical Angelina Jolie instead because he felt that she would fit the part better for the era. She succumbed to play the role of a mother, Christine Collins who comes back from work to find her son missing.

After several months of searching, a kid who calls himself Walter Collins appears and the police department jump at the chance for publicity. He then goes and lives with her but then Christine realises that this kid is not hers. Like many people I saw the trailer for Changeling and have since been annoying my girlfriend with my impersonation of the scene where Jolie says ‘I want my son back’. Every time we saw the trailer again we have had giggling fits and when the scene finally came round during the movie we were once again in fits of laughter. It is probably one of those defining moments where you go ‘Wow, that’s an oscar winning performance’ as people around you in the auditorium are weeping and totally involved in the film. I apologise to those who were watching in the same screen as me as I just could not help it.

I won’t go on about the plot because that would give the story away. One thing to note about the film though is Jeffrey Donovan’s depiction of Captain Jones who was head of the police department. He was simply excellent and stole the show with his tremendous study of an arrogant bullying control freak. You simply had to hate him. The acting in the film in general was excellent and the story was well told and moving. The simple direction by Eastwood really added to the realism of events.

Changeling comes well recommended by me and come awarded with a deserved 4 out of 5.

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