Sunday, May 3, 2009


So what is this one about?
Well, Netflix tells us
Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie, in an Oscar-nominated role) is overjoyed when her young kidnapped son Walter is brought back home. But when Christine suspects that the Walter who was returned to her isn't her actual child, the police captain (Jeffrey Donovan) has her committed to an asylum. John Malkovich co-stars as the crusading reverend who comes to Christine's rescue in this gripping, 1920s-set drama helmed by ace director Clint Eastwood.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Probably around $4. I guess it is still less than the $4.99 that I would have paid if I had watched it "on demand"...but still it is much more than it should be with my netflix love.

And what did I think?
Well, my love for Clint Eastwood has grown out of control (just like kudzu...). This movie looked exactly like something he would direct. It had this beautiful clear, yet smoky grey quality. It was slow and deliberate. He is an AMAZING filmmaker. In fact, I have added so many Eastwood directed films to my queue, so if there are a lot of his movies in the coming soon section, that is why.

So, what did I think? Well, when I saw the preview for this movie I thought it looked really interesting, because did her boy actually change, or was it not her son at all? I wont really give it away, I suppose, but it was rather unexpected. This movie even brought in my interest in both true crime stories and Canada! Joy! Oh yeah, and citizen activism...take that Los Angeles County!!

The costumes were amazing. I read on wikipedia (maybe) that Eastwood wanted to cast Jolie because he thought her looks fit the time period. Let me tell you, as someone interested in both decorative arts and costume/historical fashion the casting of Jolie as a woman of the late 1920s was absolutely spot on. She is the CLASSIC 1920s-1930s model type. She was a bit more glamourous than the normal woman in that time period, but I suppose Angelina Jolie has a hard time not being glam.

Eastwood even composed the music! What can that guy not do?! I will tell you what he can't do, he cant seem to get an oscar nomination for the amazing recent movies he is made. That is a flipping tragic injustice! Also, across the board, the acting was amazing. Jolie, Malcovich, Harner, and even Amy Ryan. They were all so nuanced and perfect. So subtle and powerful without being at all cartoonish. Fantastic!!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Changeling is pretty amazing. It is just perfectly spot on and I assign most of that to Eastwood and his incredible attention to detail and perfect astehtic eye. I give it a 9.


Dan Dassow said...


Since you mentioned that you are interested in true crime, you may wish to read the Los Angeles Times Daily Mirror blog on Changeling and Nothing is Strange with You: The Life and Crimes of Gordon Stewart Northcott by James Jeffrey Paul (Xlibris. ISBN 978-1-4363-6627-4). I cite both of these in the Wikipedia article you reference. The Daily Mirror includes Christine Collins' personal correspondence much of which is heartbreaking. James Jeffrey Paul's book is well researched and provides further insights into Gordon Stewart Northcott.

By the way I thoroughly enjoyed Changeling. I've been a fan of J. Michael Straczynski for over 16 years and saw Changeling on October 31, 2008. I especially enjoyed Jason Butler Harner's performance.

Dan Dassow

this is not a joke said...

Thanks Dan, I will definitely look into these. I love true crime books!

E said...

I might have to check this out just for the costumes. I'm intrigued by the story, too.

this is not a joke said...

E... it is totally worth checking out for the costumes. They are so authentic and beautiful!