Review of Changeling

It’s 1928, Los Angeles. Christine Collins is a single mother working to support her son who is her world. One day she goes out to work, leaving her son at home, when she returns he is gone. She reports him missing to the police, and after having to wait for 24 hours to file the report the police begin looking for him. The police reunite her with a boy but Collins insists that although the boy claims to be her son he isn’t. The police won’t listen, even when she presents physical evidence that he isn’t her son.
The film is about Christine Collins trying to find her son against the odds (the odds mostly being a corrupt and uncooperative police force).
The film is based on a true story.

-My Review-
Wow. This film was amazing. I watched it a couple of hours ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it since, it was that good.

The film was written by J Michael Strackzynski who wrote babylon five, one of my all time favourite t.v shows and I’m pleased to say that he does not disappoint with this film. I have learnt from wikipedia that he based the majority of the script on the real life events and spent a long time researching it. There is absolutely no fault that I can find at all with the script or anything else in this film.

The acting in this film is fantastic. There’s not a single actor who lets it down at all. I’m always particularly impressed by good child acting because you know they probably don’t have the same training and experience as the adult actors. All of the children in this film acted very well and were all very believable in their characters.
I think that there were three actors in particular who are worth noting.
Angelina Jolie is the first. I’m a big fan of hers and think that she’s a fantastic actress and in this film she was at her best. I would be surprised if she doesn’t win any awards for this film. She just played Christine Collins so well. I felt so much empathy for the character throughout the film and put this down partly to the excellent script and partly to Angelina Jolie’s wonderful performance.
The second is Jason Butler Harner who plays Gordon Northcott. I don’t want to say to much about him because I don’t want to give away too much about the plot. I have never seen this actor in anything before but his performance in this film was really good. It’s difficult to say more without giving away major spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that.
The third is Eddie Alderson as Sanford Clark. Again I don’t want to give away anything about the plot but this boy was amazing. He had such feeling and emotion when he acted and I think if I was going to pick out one person from the entire film who gave the best performance it would be him. I’ve never heard of him before so I don’t know if he’s an experienced actor but he was in this film with some big names and amazing talents and he really shone.

There were some great characters in this film. I really liked the main character, Christine Collins. I liked her from the first scene when it becomes apparent that she is a single mother in the 1920s who works to support her and her son. I liked her more and more as the film went on. Her determination to find her son and the fact that she wouldn’t give up on him, even when faced with such huge challenges was really inspiring.
I thought that the characters were really well written and they all had such depth. None of them are shown as being two dimensional, and even those who are only in it for a short amount of time and aren’t hugely significant I felt were very well developed. Maybe it’s because they were real people so the actors had more to go on that just a script.

This film is not comfortable viewing. I spent the whole film feeling extremely on edge and uncomfortable. I think this is a good think. The content of the film is not something anyone should be comfortable with and this films shows the full extent of the horror of these events without using gratuitous violence. There are some scenes that are extremely violent but for the most part this film doesn’t need extreme violence to convey it’s point. When the violence is there it’s justified and necessary for the plot.
I found this film to be extremely disturbing, especially because it was a true story so you should keep that in mind when watching it. It’s not the kind of film that I can forget about when I leave the cinema.

I liked that this film included some very important issues, like police corruption and sexism. I also really liked that the writer stuck so closely to the real story.

This film evoked so many emotions in me, fear, sorrow and anger in particularly and a couple of hours later I’m still feeling those. I’m finding it quite difficult to shake off those feelings because the film was powerful. I consider that to be a good thing.

As I’ve said this film is very disturbing and there were some things in the film that some people will not be comfortable with at all and may find difficult to watch. I’m not going to give away spoilers so this warning is going to be very vague but I wish that someone had given me these warnings before I watched it. I still would have gone to see it but I would have at least been prepared.

This film contains EXTREME child abuse as well as some other very disturbing scenes.

Be prepared when you go into this film that it is disturbing and very powerful.

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