USA Today - 10/24/2008
"[A] stately-looking film....The real-life story lends itself well to cinematic adaptation....CHANGELING is a provocative period piece, handsomely wrought."
Los Angeles Times - 10/24/2008
"Eastwood makes CHANGELING a hard story to shake off. To see this film is to understand both how fragile and how essential our hopes for decency and truth are in a world that must be made to care about either one."
New York Times - 10/24/2008
"When it works best, CHANGELING is a feverish and bluntly effective parable of wronged innocence and unaccountable power."
Rolling Stone - 11/30/2008 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[A] riveting true crime story....Angelina Jolie is a force of nature....She plays the role like a gathering storm, moving from terror to a fierce resolve."
Total Film - 11/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "The film's recreation of '20s LA, with its rattling streetcars and jalopies, is detailed and utterly convincing....The story's strong..."
Empire - 12/01/2008 5 stars out of 5 -- "At the centre is a brilliant performance by Angelina Jolie....Eastwood sets this intimate performance against a big, bold backdrop that might be his most ambitious yet..."
Premiere - 02/17/2009 4 stars out of 4 -- Clint Eastwood strikes again with another masterpiece....Jolie does some of her best work as the quiet but strong mother constantly on the brink of collapse without going over the edge..."
At first, Clint Eastwood's CHANGELING could appear to be following too closely in the footsteps of his earlier Oscar winner, MYSTIC RIVER, since both films center on a missing child. But while his previous film was based on a Dennis Lehane novel, CHANGELING carries a particular weight because it is based on a true story, and one that isn't largely known. Angelina Jolie stars as Christine Collins, a single mother working in 1928 Los Angeles when her son goes missing. A boy is returned to her months later by the police, but she is shocked and disheartened when she realizes that the boy isn't her son. Joined by a crusading pastor (John Malkovich), Christine battles for justice against the corrupt L.A.P.D. while she continues to search for her child. Eventually her fight against the cops lands her in a mental hospital, where she is surrounded by others with a similar plight.
At times, CHANGELING is incredibly difficult to watch. Jolie gives an authentic, anguished performance, and the on-screen tragedy is quite disturbing, largely because of its basis in reality. But Eastwood has crafted another Oscar-worthy film that is certainly worth sitting through, even if a tissue or two is required. Screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski had been best known for his work in science fiction (BABYLON FIVE) and graphic novels, but he makes an adept transition to feature drama with this film. Its unusual focus--on the victim and her struggle for justice, rather than on the criminal and the crime--brings further depth to the film. As always, Amy Ryan (an Oscar nominee for GONE BABY GONE) perfectly morphs into her role (this time as a prostitute imprisoned in the mental hospital), and the film's many child actors are compelling to watch.
Los Angeles, California |
Theatrical Release |