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Changeling Movie Review


Angelina Jolie turns in an Oscar winning performance in Changeling.

Please be advised that this review contains some SPOILERS. Directed by Clint Eastwood from a screenplay by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, Changeling recounts the Prohibition era true story of Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), a single mom whose son Walter vanishes while she is at work. A fruitless search continues for months until one day Christine receives the news she’s been praying for: her son’s been found alive and is coming home.

But when Christine arrives at the train station — besieged by cops and reporters — to be reunited with her son, she finds that this boy is not Walter. She repeatedly says as much to Captain J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan), but the media savvy cop doesn’t want to hear it. The scandal-plagued LAPD — the subject of many a radio tirade by the activist Reverend Briegleb (John Malkovich) — wants this high-profile case closed. They intimidate Christine into initially agreeing to accept that this boy is her son whose appearance has been radically altered by his ordeal.

The usually meek Christine starts to fight back against the cops, a virtually unheard of reaction especially by a woman of that time. The LAPD, though, have a way of dealing with those who make them look bad or threaten them in any way. For women, this is to brand them as mentally unsound and toss them into the hospital psychopath ward. This is what happens to Christine, adding one nightmare to another. Thanks to the intervention of Reverend Briegleb, though, she is able to fight back against the system that failed to find her son and punished her for taking matters in her own hands. But another twist in the disappearance of Walter Collins is soon uncovered.

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