Changeling was an award-nominated 2008 movie that starred Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins, a woman who lost her child.
One thing I immediately noticed was how the movie started with explicitly saying it's a true story. It didn't say that it was based on a true story, but that it was a true story. I then knew it was going to be good cause movies based on true stories often end up only using a small fraction of the real events in the movie. At least if it states that it's a true story, there's an assumption that the filmmakers tried its best to stay conduct extensive research on the subject before starting developing the movie. It's also assumed that the filmmakers stayed true to the material as much as possible. I highly doubt that a movie will be a 100% accurate in every single detail, but at least the effort to make it as close to how things actually happened help.
It had to be good, it was nominated for several awards. We all know that being up for awards doesn't necessarily translate to a good movie, but at least there's some sort of impression. I think three things made this movie extremely likable. One was the competent, talented and perfect cast, from the movie's star, Angelina Jolie to other characters like Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, John Malkovich, Jason Butler Harner and more. Even the kids were impressive; Gattlin Griffith and Devon Conti were both great in it. These kids will be the future of cinema; at least I hope so since they already have the talent. Harner's performance was a bit disturbing given the background of his character. It was demented, and perfectly captured the essence of a serial killer. Jeffrey Donovan was also good in this, granted that I hated the character, probably because Donovan was doing his job extremely well. He was passionate about it. I found all the actors incredibly impressive, but I don't think anyone of them could compete to Jolie's performance. I'm not used to seeing her in a mellow role especially when you associate films like Wanted, Tomb Raider, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith to her name. Second is the plot, thanks to a very well-written screenplay. J. Michael Straczynski did great in the screenplay. Lastly, I think Eastwood's direction just made this movie a sight to see.
I like movies like these because of the social commentary aspect of it. The themes of the movie screamed issues that they faced in the 1920s, and unfortunately, things we still see in the news today. Kidnapping, murder, all kinds of abuse. There was a fight against things that are wrong about our society. Straczynski did a great job capturing these in his screenplay. I really liked the screenplay he did. The script was rich, and it's noticeable with the dialogues. It made the movie dynamic and very interesting. Of course, it helps that it's a true story. But he did a mighty fine job adapting it to a screenplay.
I also liked how the movie had a balance of good evil. For every Jones, there's and Ybarra, for every Davies there's a Hahn, for every Northcott there's Briegleb. Thing is, the movie made sure that the movie wouldn't be filled with a majority of bad guys, an it balanced it with legitimately good people who genuinely cared about the movie. I thought I'd mention this cause at the beginning I thought the movie was becoming "me-against-the-world" as Christine seemed like fighting a battle alone. Also, there was something about the progression of the characters that seemed to elevate the movie for me. Before Christine Collins got the reverend, Ybarra and Hahn on her side, the movie, while still amazing, seemed to be one-dimensional. However, the addition of these characters really brought the movie to another level and improved the quality of the plot and the story.
I've blabbed about it but I hope I made it clear how awesome it is, and how awesome Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie were. The movie was great, and it's a movie with great substance. The message, the portrayals, everything was strong and the movie was excellent. It's a shame it wasn't too successful in the box-office. You can follow me on twitter @sirfilmreviewer or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow this blog by checking the right side of the page.