CHANGELING


2008

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood

May Contain Spoilers!

Clint Eastwood is a director which I some trouble getting behind. I have not seen his entire body of work but I have seen a fair few, and none have really impressed me as much as would have liked. Like his interest in composing and performing gentle country music, his approach to film-making is similar. He likes to take his time, with a wilting tone, slow and precise, which can be effective but on the whole, leaves me a little cold.

Unforgiven, Gran Torino and Changeling stand as my favourites with his last film, Torino being the best. Changeling is a very  interesting “True Story”, more accurate to the facts than you might think as it follows the tragic case of a working mother in 1920’s San Fransisco, whose child is kidnapped. After a torturous wait, a few months later the boy is returned to her by the L.A. Police but the mother, Angelina Jolie, is convinced that this is not her son.

The whys and wherefores take us on a bizarre journey and one which many people can’t believe could be true, but it most defiantly is. Eastwood directs this film perfectly but there’s still no flare. It a mechanically precise piece of filmmaking.

I also question the casting of Jolie in the role of the everyday working mother. She doesn’t look the part physically. I don’t believe in her, though that’s not that I don’t believe in her performance which was as harrowing in parts, as the plot was in others. It plays with ideas and the situations well, conveying the mood and fear of the events as they unfold but it just lacks that something extra. As do most of Eastwood’s films to me.

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