I saw this movie back in October- I was really looking forward to it, as I love Clint Eastwood films, but couldn’t help but feel pretty let down.
Based on a true story, Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, a single working mom in the 1920’s. When her son goes missing, she turns to the LAPD who bring back a boy that she claims is not her child. Emotional and upset, she brings the strange child into her house, yet persists that he is not her son. When she begins to talk to a local activist (John Malkovich) who brings her side of the story public, the LAPD begin to slander her.
This film was slow and really quite dull. It looks beautiful, but it needed to be carried by a very strong actress and I think Jolie really underperforms here. She’s incredibly one note and the character feels old and played out. Remember A Mighty Heart? I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between her Mariane Pearl and her Christine Collins. Just replace the word “husband” with “son” and you’ve got Changeling. Which is why I think…
Best Actress – Angelina Jolie
…that this is really a political nomination. The Academy loves to indulge itself in a nomination or two that will attract beautiful people and attention, and Jolie and Pitt’s noms this year seem to fall into that category. There were plenty of other deserving performances this year and this is not one of them.
This film looks beautiful and is wonderfully shot, but I think it might lose this one to a film with more sweeping camera movements and majestic scenery such as Benjamin Button or Slumdog.
Best Art Direction
Here, though, I think this stands a real chance. The muted colors and dreary sets match the tone of the film and make it good competition for the similar looking Benjamin Button.