Old 10-29-2008, 12:11 PM

Here the review for Changeling at Hollywood.com

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Old 10-29-2008, 03:24 PM
Man I really want to see this movie as it looks pretty good. I have read up on the true basis of this film and it is quite sad.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:54 PM

Los Angeles, 1928: On a Saturday morning in a working-class suburb, Christine said goodbye to her son, Walter, and left for work. When she came home, she discovered he had vanished. A fruitless search ensues, and months later, a boy claiming to be the nine-year-old is returned. Dazed by the swirl of cops, reporters and her conflicted emotions, Christine allows him to stay overnight. But, in her heart, she knows he is not Walter. As she pushes authorities to keep looking, she learns that in Prohibition-era L.A., women don't challenge the system and live to tell their story. Slandered as delusional and unfit, Christine finds an ally in activist Reverend Briegleb (Malkovich), who helps her fight the city to look for her missing boy. >>> This stars: Angelina Jolie & John Malkovich. Liked it alot but I expected to love it. I think it finished fourth over the weekend? The music/score was GREAT! As far as acting goes, Jolie should get an Oscar nod. I'm not a big Jolie fan but she was wonderful. If you like drama movies, this will do it for you! See this if you get the chance. I give this movie a 7. Ken
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:12 PM

(Clint Eastwood, 2008)

Clint Eastwood is on a roll. He has also pulled of an extreme rarity and has, in his retirement years, become one of the most talented, important directorial forces to be reckoned with, despite more than 20 years of directing and 40 years of acting prior to his recent cinematic goldmine. Back in 1992 he delivered the masterpiece Unforgiven, but it was only with his recent string of important cinematic achievements, from Mystic River through Million Dollar Baby to Letters from Iwo Jima, that he has reached the peak of his significance. Although was met with a mixed reception by critics and audiences, I strongly disagree and firmly believe that Changeling is yet another important notch on Clint Eastwood’s illustrious, profound body of work.

As with many of Eastwood’s other films, Changeling doesn’t hold anything back, emotionally or thematically. Eastwood really bares his teeth here, and delivers as disturbing, frustrating, and aggravating a movie as any of his others. The story on display here, from an original screenplay by TV scribe J. Michael Straczynski, is shocking, infuriating and emotionally draining, and the fact that it’s based on a true story lends it even more weight. As I mentioned already, Eastwood really doesn’t hold anything back and the first half of the film, during which the protagonist undergoes a series of grueling, torturous events that she is powerless to fight against or to resist, including a stubborn and useless police force, lack of support from any authority figure (at least at first), and her eventual involuntary commitment into an insane asylum even though she is perfectly sane – and if anyone has read anything about insane asylums in the 1920’s, they’ll know that it wasn’t a pretty sight.

Uncharacteristically of Eastwood’s films, which for the most part are inescapably bleak and offer no form of solace, with the second half of Changeling Eastwood offers us a beacon of hope that well-deserved justice has been served. I won’t say that in the end the film is a “feel-good” movie, because everything leading up to its final act is, in accordance with Eastwood’s previous body of work, inescapably bleak and depressing, but Eastwood does provide us with a form of dramatic closure that is rare in his recent body of work.

Like all of Eastwood’s films, in particular his recent ones, the film looks absolutely stunning; Eastwood shoots in the broad 2.35:1 aspect ratio, not often used in these dramas, and takes full advantage of the breadth it offers him. His cinematography is stark and striking, often utilizing one strong source of light and creating a very chiaroscuro, high-contrast look that really looks absolutely great. Production value is also top notch, and Eastwood captures every little detail of 1920’s Los Angeles period with utmost care and attention. The film is also accompanied by a repetitive but very effective score by Eastwood himself that emphasizes the compliments the story and the drama with perfection.

Unlike previous films like Unforgiven, Mystic River or Million Dollar Baby, Changeling’s cast is for the most part composed of unknowns or character actors. Its only really has two big “name” actors, but both of them deliver such strong work that it really makes up for it. John Malkovich has a medium-sized supporting role and is as good as ever, perhaps angrier than usual but overall more strong work from the legend. But at the center of the film is the main performance: Angelina Jolie portrays the protagonist who is on screen throughout pretty much the entire movie, and delivers a performance so incredible, so powerful, so commanding and yet so subdued, so with such presence but also with such restraint and submission, that it really amazes me that there are still people out there that doubt her skills and abilities as an actress. Sure, she won the Oscar for her supporting role in Girl, Interrupted, but that was mostly for show; last year she delivered a far more accomplished and absolutely stunning performance in A Mighty Heart that was for the most part unjustly overlooked; hopefully she’ll get her due this year for her amazing, incredible performance in Changeling. It’s the best performance of her career, and one of the strongest leading female performances of the year.

Overall, Changeling is an exquisitely accomplished drama: It tells a fascinating true story that is compelling to follow, and yet, Eastwood treats it far less like a mystery thriller as one would expect and far more as an in-depth character drama. Eastwood holds no emotion back and lets us feel a wide variety of emotions, from anger to frustration to hopelessness to sympathy, and Angelina Jolie, in the best show of her career, delivers a truly amazing, incredibly well-acted performance, playing her small character with such introverted restraint that it just emphasizes her presence in the film even more. I fail to understand how so many critics were emotionally detached from this film, as I felt it very hard to remain aloof in front of the film’s deep emotions. Its mixed critical reaction renders it, in my opinion, as one of the more underrated movies of the year. In the end, Eastwood and co. deliver a fascinating, emotional melodrama while managing to skip over the melodrama and elevate the film to subtler, more naturalistic place.

RATING: 8/10.
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