Cinema Viewfinder: Movie Review: Changeling – Good Performances Elevate Eastwood’s Latest Film

Posted: October 4, 2008 in Scifi
Tags: , , , , ,

David over at the Cinema Viewfinder site alerted me about this movie since this was written by J. Michael Straczynski. He is the creator/writer of Babylon 5 and Crusades. For myself, I have followed him since his days as a screenwriter columnist of the Writer’s Digest. Since then, I have been a huge fan of his writing. So, while this movie is not scifi in anyway, if you enjoy Straczynski’s work, give this movie a try.

Below is David’s review:

If I hadn’t been made aware before I saw Clint Eastwood’s Changeling that it was based on a true story, I would have thought it was another fantasy from the fertile imagination of screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5). The unlikely story of Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), and her search for her missing son, is packed with real-life reversals that are truly stranger than fiction. Jolie’s typically fine performance grounds the story as much as anything can. But the film loses its focus as the plot twists pile up. Much of the reason for that lies in the propensity for multiple climaxes in Eastwood’s films.

Straczynski conceived the screenplay after months of research into this little-known L.A. crime story. Collins reported her son Walter missing to the L.A. police hours after his disappearance. The overworked and corrupt L.A.P.D. didn’t act until after the customary first 24 hours. After frustrating weeks of searching, they find the boy, reuniting mother and son, except… the boy is not her son. Pleading to the cops about the mistake, police captain J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) denies any error. The last thing the embattled police force needs is another instance of bad publicity. So he tries to convince Mrs. Collins she simply doesn’t recognize her son after the ordeal he’s gone through. She goes to the press armed with proof of the boy’s mistaken identity, leading Capt. Jones to have her secretly committed to a psychopathic ward, promptly silencing her accusations.


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