Thursday, 4 December 2008
When a movie receives mixed reviews, it is often a sign that it is a flawed film. So my expectations of Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort The Changeling were not great before we saw it last night. The reviews were wrong to be cautious. (A notable exception being the great Philip French in the Observer, whose review is very apt). The Changeling is a triumph. With Angelina Jolie in her best role yet as Christine Collins, a distraught mother whose son disappears in 1920s Los Angeles only to have another child 'returned' to her, and John Malkovich as a crusading Presbyterian pastor, the movie is taut, dark and gripping. Despite its length at well over two hours, there is little wasted in this film: its largely true tale of police corruption, appalling mental health procedures and a mother's undimmed fight for justice is utterly compelling. Do not miss it.