Written by Nikki Baughan Sunday, 29 March 2009 00:00
Truth is stranger than fiction...
It’s 1928, and single mother Christine (Jolie) works hard to support herself and her young son Walter (Gattlin Griffith) Although life is though, the pair enjoy a close bond and are happy, Christine’s life is turned upside down when Walter goes missing, and a terrible situation turns into one of horror when the LAPD make a great show of finding her son – only to return the wrong boy. As Christine’s assertions that she has been given the wrong child fall on deaf ears, so a shocking chain of events begin to unravel.
Unbelievably, this heartbreaking drama is based on a true story, and all involved have made every effort to ensure its devastating authenticity. From the screenplay by J Michael Straczynski to the direction by Clint Eastwood to the stellar central performance by Angelina Jolie, Changeling simmers with emotion, tension and that sense of wide-eyed incredulity that comes with such an unbelievable true story. And it’s beautiful to look at too, with an attention to detail that is indicative of Eastwood’s directorial perfectionism that has resulted in a recent run of cinematic hits.
But this is Jolie’s film, and although she missed out on the Oscar her portrayal of a mother desperate to find her child is one of the best of her career, and she carries Changeling's heavy emotional load with poise and grace. Both she and Eastwood keep a film hand on the film’s rudder, steering it away from melodrama and heading it straight for masterpiece territory. 5 stars
The DVD release contains two featurettes, one on the working relationship between Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie and the other on Jolie’s characterisation of Christine Collins. The Blu-ray also contains U-control features on Picture-in-Picture, Los Angeles Then and Now and Archives.
Stars Angelina Jolie, Gattlin Griffith, John Malkovich
Director Clint Eastwood
Distributor Universal Pictures Video
Format DVD and Blu-Ray
Released March 30th