Amazon Holiday

Thursday, December 25, 2008


(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Set in the late ‘20s in Los Angeles, a single mother (Angelina Jolie) is distraught when her 9 year-old son is abducted from her house. But things turn more bizarre when the police try to reunite her with a boy that she believes is not her son.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Donovan, Colm Feore, Michael Kelly, Jason Butler Harner, Gattlin Griffith

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! Changeling is based on a true story that has to be filed under the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ category. It’s a truly bizarre and – for a while at least – incredibly sad story that charts the sickening and horribly corrupt history of the Los Angeles Police Department in the late ‘20s and early ‘30s. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel and centering the story on a strong and determined woman makes for a compelling film with few dull moments.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Something makes Angelina Jolie’s character laugh at the very beginning, but we’re not privy to what it is. After that, not many smiles are cracked on screen or off.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: I didn’t, but if you’re a mother, or a person with maternal instincts of any kind, you might want to gird yourself for some tears.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Angelina Jolie’s performance has been nominated for a Golden Globe and SAG Award so far, and since there are rarely enough dynamic parts written for female leads each year to fill the 5 slots in that category, her streak is likely to continue to the Academy Awards.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Angelina Jolie proves once again why she is a rare, American acting treasure. You will feel her unbearable loss in your gut. And even while playing a strong, independent woman, she never betrays the period her character exists in, being mindful of her ‘place’ in society (when the U.S. was much more of a man’s world) by subverting her strength and fire when the circumstances dictate it. Her character goes to hell and back, and few actresses can take us on that journey the way Jolie can. Surrounding her is a really good cast of familiar and not-so-familiar faces that fit perfectly into the period. And for a film with so many pivotal supporting parts that rely on kids, they found some really good ones here.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Not only is every performance spot-on, the movie looks amazing as Clint Eastwood depicts late 1920s Los Angeles in all its beautiful period detail. Every car, building, street lamp, coat, hat, even roller-skate is gorgeously featured and anyone who has ever lived in or loved the City of Angels will enjoy seeing it transported back in time with so much precision. Los Angeles is a city with some stunning architecture, and watching Changeling is a great reminder of it. Across the board, it's a step up from Gran Torino.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: In so many ways it plays out as such a straightforward story, that when it’s over you’ll feel like it was easy to see everything that was coming. But that doesn’t take away from how riveting it is while you’re watching, which is why you’ll end up feeling more than satisfied. Screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski not only fictionalizes a sensational and tragic real-life story from the past, he also finds the human, beating heart at its center and brings out the strong, uplifting message at its core. Sure, a lot about Changeling is a downer, but you’ll leave feeling inspired by what a determined person can accomplish in life. And how important it is to always have hope.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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Farzan said...

Good review, I really wanted to see this film when it hit theaters, but never had the proper time to do so. I think Ill wait for the DVD/Blu Ray version before watching it.

Monique Elisabeth said...

I'm with you. At this point, we may as well...