Sunday, November 9, 2008
What I love most about movies is storytelling, what I love most about storytelling is the fact that human nature tends to respond to the same themes over and over. Clint Eastwood's (all-time great storyteller) latest film "Changeling" visits the theme of the unlikely hero, heroine in this case. An ordinary person (although there's nothing ordinary about Angelina Jolie) thrust into an extraordinary situation.
This is a heart wrenching story of a woman, Christine Collin's (Angelina Jolie) quest to find her missing son, who disappears while she's at work without a trace. The LAPD police Captain J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) shows little to no concern for Mrs Collin's plight, instead he's willing to force Collins to accept an impostor child as her missing son, in order for the police department to save face in the press. Donovan, so likable in the TBS action show "Burn Notice", is so despicably full of himself in this part, you just want to slap those bunny teeth of his out of his mouth!
The film moves from heart wrenching to gruesome when another case leads to the discovery of 20 or more murdered children, one of which may or may not be the missing Walter Collins.
Screenwriter, J. Michael Straczynski, found out about this true story from a contact in the Los Angeles records department who informed him the transcripts from this 1928 case were about to be destroyed. All movies must take poetic license in the retelling of a true story, however, it does appear that the real Christine Collins would not allow the police to close the case on her missing son, no matter what form of intimidation was used to get her to shut up. And that basically, this one woman's case was instrumental in bringing down the monumental corruption and abuse of the LAPD during this period in history.
Which brings us back to the unlikely hero/heroine theme we love so dearly, it is through their personal pain, that farther reaching wrongs are made right, beyond their intention.
"Changeling" has going for it angst, Imagine Films (Ron Howard/Brian Grazer) and Clint Eastwood, adding up to a sure fire Oscar Contender.
Rating: Pretty Index Toe