I feel as though before I review 'Changeling' I should reveal my bias of Angelina Jolie as a fantastic actress. I must admit that I have been looking forward to Changeling since it was revealed Angelina would be playing Christine Collins. The fact that Clint Eastwood was to direct also made it ever more eagerly anticipated but it really was Jolie I was waiting to see.
Saying that, I don't really think you can hold that against me. Changeling, whether a Jolie fan or not is a fantastic film. It really is the film Eastwood set out to make. The whole length of it is an emotional rollercoaster as you too are on the edge of your seat to discover the fate of Walter, Christine's son. Set in 1928, and amazingly a true story, it tells the tale of the disappearence of Walter and Christine's fight to find him, even after the LAPD bring home a boy they claim is her son. The corruption of the police really does go to the core of the system, making Christine's fight a gruelling and dangerous one as she tries to prove the boy is not her son. John Malcovich plays the outspoken minister determined to stop the corruption and help Christine.
Although a very lengthy film, it is barely noticeable under the anguish you feel for Christine. The lack of justice does feel unbareable at times, and its horrible to think such events took place and that really, it is easy for people in power to step out of the boundaries of the law as they please - even now. Eastwoods direction is superb, brilliantly creating a 1920's LA, and with a flawless cast. Although at times Changeling was painful to watch due to its content, you could feel it was necessary to show such scenes. And I think they were done extremely well. Eastwood managed to maintain a tone throughout the film that pulled in the audience and kept hold of them until the credits rolled.
However, the real star of this film was undoubtedly Angelina Jolie. Really, this was always going to be her film, being as she is in around 90% of the scenes. But she carried it off. I didn't doubt for a minute that she was Christine Collins, and I never needed to question her anguish as a mother who had a missing child. Her acting fits perfectly with Eastwood's direction as you feel the horrific journey she is on, and her hopelessness. You find yourself thinking what would I do, and whether or not you would stand up to the system as she did. And, although a lot of us would probably like to think we would, it is something that I know I would be terrifyed to do in such circumstances. Make a fuss, and the police put you somewhere no one can hear you. But Angelina Jolie portrayed that conflict excellently, and you could see her doubting herself a lot at times. There were in particular about five extremely powerful scenes that made Jolie shine, and really proved her worth as the extroadinary actress she is. While she can be seen in the odd occasional blockbuster as the fiesty assassin or in animated adventures, you can't really deny her talent. She is possibly the most versitile of actresses in Hollywood today, able to turn any film into a massive success. And I am sure Changeling is no different.
I'm not afraid to make the prediction either that Changeling will be a big win at the oscars. And if Jolie doesn't win best actress, she will be robbed. Although there are still a lot of other good films to come this year, I really do hope Changeling doesn't get forgotten as a beginning of the year movie. Judging from all the performances I have seen Jolie in, this really is her best performance yet. Better than her role as Lisa in Girl, Interrupted - which is what she recieved her previous oscar for. Overall, a great film, and the best one I have certainly seen in a good few years. 10/10.