- Director:Clint Eastwood
- Cast:Gattlin Griffin, Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich
- Release Date:February 05, 2009
- Running time:141 minutes
- Film Worth:$15.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
“Powerful, moving and finely crafted…”
Has a director ever hit his stride so late in his career? Now 78-years-old, the evergreen Clint Eastwood continues his dream run of projects with Changeling, delivering another rich, thoughtful and beautifully realised film that fits perfectly with his recent efforts Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags Of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Like those superb films, Changeling is a big, stately work driven by full-throttle performances and a powerful sense of meaning. What separates Changeling from those films, however, is its white-hot rage. Though it has Eastwood's usual measured pacing and characteristic under-statement, it's a film designed to make the audience angry: it's all about injustice, oppression of the individual, and storming the barricades...and it's majestically achieved with Eastwood's driving sense of restraint.
It's 1928 Los Angeles, and Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) is doing it tough: she's raising her young son, Walter (Gattlin Griffith), while working long hours as a telephone exchange supervisor. Forced to work late one afternoon, Christine returns home to find that her son has disappeared. Deemed missing, Walter appears to be gone for good. The distraught mother is anguished and desperate, but months later, the LA Police deliver a child - found in the company of a drifter - that they say is hers. The boy claims to be her son, but Christine knows that he's not: he looks different, he's three inches shorter, and, most tellingly, he is circumcised, and Walter was not. Smug, superior Captain J.J Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) brushes away Christine's claims, assuring her that the boy is hers, with his physical and emotional differences passed off as the result of his trying circumstances. The feisty and determined Christine, however, fights on, continuing to protest that the boy is not her son.
This is an Oscar-calibre performance from Angelina Jolie. She conveys a sense of grief, desperation, fear, sadness and determination that is absolutely palpable. It's nothing short of a tour de force. At the heart of Changeling is the story of a mother frantically fighting to find her son. When you brush aside the film's period setting and its fiery subtext - two of its best, most defining elements - there is something even more raw and staggering: a story that could move anyone with its primal simplicity. The bond between mother and son is a strong one, and watching it being corroded is nothing less than shattering. Changeling is close to a revelation, even for the masterful Clint Eastwood.