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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Nominated for Best Actress (Angelina Jolie), Cinematography, and Art Direction, Changeling is the true story of Christine Collins and her search for Walter, her missing son. Walter disappeared in 1928 on a day when Christine was called into work to cover for a sick coworker. Five months later the police recover a boy matching Walter's description, but he is not her son. Without the benefit of modern forensics, and needing good press, the police insist the boy is Walter despite Christine's protests. Instead, she is considered insane and committed to a mental institution under the pretext that she is an unfit mother for not accepting this boy. When she is proven right, with the aid of a local minister and other experts, the police department is put on trial. At the same time, a man who frequently kidnapped and killed missing children is also standing trial for his crimes -- one of which may be Walter's murder.

Well, the movie is gorgeous -- which you would expect with Art Direction and Cinematography nods -- and so is Angelina, who also proves (again) that she is not just a pretty face, but also a fine actress. But that's about it. The movie is very predictable and, because it's based on a true story, it doesn't actually have any resolution. Bruce said that, while Angelina's character was well fleshed-out and played, everyone and everything else seemed like stereotypes and caricatures. That's a pretty apt description. I was disappointed. I had high hopes for this film when it originally came out and was sorry I'd missed it in the theater, but it didn't live up to my expectations.

Moms, sorry, but "separation of mothers and children" automatically puts a movie in your "no" column.

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