Skip to content

Changeling

April 21, 2014

Changeling (2008)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Jeffrey Donovan, John Malkovich

0013729e41a90bf75b0731.jpg (290×193)

Synopsis: Single mother, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), returns home in Twenties LA, to find her young son disappeared. A Los Angeles Police Department mired in desperately poor public relations, first finds Collins the wrong boy in their investigation, and when she disputes that find, she is ostracised by the LAPD, to the point where they even institutionalise her…

Review: I admire Clint Eastwood – for the Western gems with which he made his name (Sergio Leone’s “Spaghetti Western” trilogy and The Outlaw Josey Wales spring immediately to mind), the sheer longevity of his career, and a certain admirable ‘untrendiness’ to his work. I say all this to mitigate against the fact that I find Changeling a desperately poor example of both filmmaking and storytelling. I don’t even care whether this is a “true story” or not, because Eastwood marks out a series of sensational plot incidents without any semblance of nuance or sophisticated dramatic shading.

The film winds up being neither the wrenching personal drama, nor police critique/exposé, nor serial killer picture it threatens to be, instead simply plotting a whistlestop tour through the events on the script, and even deigning to have some of the most odiously demonstrative scenes I’ve seen in a supposedly serious American film for many a year – from the unintentionally hilarious sanitorium scenes (so childishly bogus in their rhetoric), to the most yawn-inducing court-case denouement possible (which simply trots out all the obvious staging points and themes of the narrative to that point). (April 2014)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: