Angelina Jolie’s character is this film is simply radiant. A mother’s love can bring about the strength of ten men, and I gotta say it looked good on her. She wouldn’t break, no matter what and that’s a character trait so many people lack in this day and age. I’m not really a fan of Jolie’s but the woman can act, so she has my respect. And speaking of respect, I loved seeing John Malkovich in there as the Rev. Gustav Briegleb, a man who kicks ass for the Lord. Whether it was on the radio, in person or at Church, he was all over this tragic situation doing all he could and more for Christine and the pursuit of her son. Jeffery Donovan played Capt. J.J. Jones, the man you loved to hate. Some of the crap he was saying to her was nothing short of unbelievable, insinuating anything and everything to try and cover the department’s ass. Colm Feore (who you can also catch in the current season of 24) made a bit of an appearance as LA’s Police Chief, also trying to bury this story in the first hole he could find. The cast were all pretty solid here, but I gotta give special props to the children, they handled themselves really well.
My only real complaint with CHANGELING is the runtime. This film did not need to be two hours and twenty two minutes long. Good lord people, you’re only supposed to drink one Red Bull a day. By the end of this movie I was well into “sudden heart attack” territory. All in all, we could’ve lost a half hour, easy. It certainly would have made things run a bit smoother, instead of an awkward roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Slow, sometimes painful downs. The story may not have the happy ending we want, but justice is certainly served which allows you to get up and leave relatively satisfied. I’ll say this of Clint Eastwood flicks, they tend to yield great characters and compelling circumstances which more often than not, get noticed around award time. I’ve always found true stories difficult to watch, knowing what you’re seeing is real changes your perception of the film. And I think they’re counting on it here. This will be one movie you’ll no doubt remember for awhile.
Partners in Crime: Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie: Here we have a breakdown of different aspects used and focused upon in the making of CHANGELING. They talk about city of LA, the clothing (I love the way the cops used to look in those hats and trench coats) and the residential structures. We also have the entire staff of workers and actors giving all sorts of praise to Clint and his way of getting things done. I wonder if he feels lucky.
The Common Thread: Angelina Jolie Becomes Christine Collins: Angie shares her admiration of the character and of this woman’s journey. They were very strict with details in this film, capturing the raw essence of twenties and thirties wardrobe in amazing detail. The hats seemed to really bring Angie’s character specifically to life.