Changeling, 2008


Disturbing and poignantly shocking, this is another excellent movie by the great Clint Eastwood. Big on drama, with superb performances by Jolie and Malkovich, this movie offers stunning color, cinematography and a haunting musical score that captures the 1920s of Los Angeles.

A grief-stricken single mother looking for her missing nine-year old son is forced to accept a stranger as her missing son, and when she resists, incurs the wrath of the corrupt LAPD. Although discredited by the LAPD and thrown into a women's psychopathic institution, hope stays alive in the mind, heart and body of this young woman who continues to fight to look for her child. What she finds is a horrifying saga that involves encountering a serial killer who may or may not have murdered her son. Although no clear and fast ending here, the larger impact of her case is the restoration of public confidence in the city's administration, the improvement of women's rights, and thanks in no small measure to the diligence of a local presbyter who uses his pulpit to highlight the inept state of affairs of the LAPD, an eventual overhauling of this law-enforcement agency, and eventually, bringing justice and closure by way of capture and termination of the serial killer.

On a less insightful note, I daresay one of the most memorable lines of the movie are uttered by a calm Jolie to her doctor-captor when she takes the advice of her inmate to stand up for her rights in refusing to sign off her sanity on a piece of paper when she tells him: F*** you, and the horse that you rode in on! Viva, Christine Collins!

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