Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie is a case of great story, and not necessarily a great movie. While the film is well done and has incredible moments, overall the film doesn't shine above other great Clint Eastwood films like Mystic River, Unforgiven, and Gran Torino. It is instead the true story of Christine Collins and her fight to find her son that makes this movie strongly recommended.
The film is about Christine Collins her missing son Walter Collins. Walter goes missing and after five months the LAPD reunited Christine with Walter. Christine insists the boy is not hers and demands the police to keep searching for her son. Meanwhile, Reverend Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich) is attempting to expose the corruption of the police force; both Briegleb and Collins work together to expose the malpractice of the law going on with the LAPD. The film's themes of parental instinct, abuse of power by police, and corruption are explored to great depths throughout the film.
The film begins slowly establishing the relationship between mother and son. Once Walter goes missing, Angelina's performance simply carries the film. Her emotions are so sincere and intense, only pulling audiences on her side. Jeffery Donavon, who plays the role of Caption J. J. Jones shines throughout, making him so easy to despise. His role in Changeling and the emotional draw he has on the audience will hopefully the beginning of a long lasting career in Hollywood. The same praise cannot go the esteemed John Malkovich, whose role through the film is forgettable and blends with other Malkovich characters. Throughout his performance was forced. Jolie's ability to play a strong incredible woman throughout made up for Malkovich.
Changeling is a film for audiences who seek a great story. Audiences will find themselves finished the movie, only to run to their computers to research Christine Collins and her struggles. As is expected with Eastwood films audiences will not be disappointed; therefore it is strongly recommended.