Changeling (2008) – American Movie

March 17, 2009 jeansdream
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Over the weekend, hubby and I rented this DVD – Changeling (2008), an American drama with background set in 1928 based on a true story of a mother, Christine Collins and her lost and supposedly found 9-year old son, Walter.

I couldn’t have done a better job describing the cast, plot, and other technical aspects of this film than this wiki article, so please check it out if you don’t know what this movie is about – spolier alert – this page tells you everything about the movie.

Pardon my English as I didn’t know what “changeling” meant, and I didn’t find out what this m0vie was about before watching this movie (as I trust my hubby that he only rented movies worth renting).  So I was receiving this movie first hand – unpoluted nor biased by previous comments.

Now that I know what changeling means, I think this is a good name for the movie.

A few wows. 

I admire Christine Collins – her courage, her resillience, her love of her son, her gentleness, her intelligence, her guts – compared to nowadays, she is no less independent, less capable  nor weaker than many single career moms – don’t you think?   This tiny woman didn’t give up.  <Spolier alert> I don’t know if she found Walter in her life (chances are not). I hope she had lived a happy life.  <Spoiler end> Walter, borned 1919, would be 90 years old if he’s alive, was one lucky guy with such a brave and loving mom.

I like the script, written by J. Michael Straczynski.  Many parts are very well written, like how the doctor explained about the “reverse growth” of the returned Walter; what Dexter told Collins in the psychopathic ward about no matter how she behaved, the doctor could always report her as sick; how the doctor twisted words of Collins that made her seemed like delusional etc.  Authority misused and unchecked for is scary.

Clint Eastwood is the director (and one of the producers).  He’s known to not yelling “Action!” on the set.  He let his acting crew eased in a scene.  The straight-forward story-telling style fits this movie of a true story nicely.   Nothing fancy is the best way to tell this story.   And I found out at the credits that he wrote the movie’s music, and I think they fit the story nicely.  He doesn’t write charming melodies but his music fits the movie.  And Hubby said he wrote music for many of his movies too.  What a talented guy!  Angelina’s comment on Clint goes like, (regarding her next movies, she’s telling her agent that)  “if Clint is not the director, there may be some problems, and I mean real problems…” something like that – check out the Making documentary yourself!   🙂

The skates are halirous – too bad the documentary didn’t explain how the stakes are clipped onto the heels.  Love to watch how the ladies moved in dress suits and high heels.

Now some question marks.

Not that Malkovich’s acting has flaws or anything in that nature,  somehow I kept thinking if his character (the Revenard) was on to something, like his expressions in the beginning of the movie when he first talked to Collins about how corrupt the L.A. police force was, led me to think he had some hidden agenda.  But no, the movie didn’t show any of such, so may be I misread his expressions.

The only place that I am not sure if it’s “over-acting” was when the Police Chief went to tell Collins that they found her boy – remember the expressions before he told her the news?  That scared the woman half death!   Normally a good news bearer wouldn’t be like this.  Was that straight face appropriate?  Did the Police Chief want to test how volunarable Collins was then?  Did he want to create a hype?  If so, then I can understand this straight face.  Otherwise, I am not sure.  This is not a actor’s question but a Clint’s question, and I don’t know what was his intention in this sequence.  If Clint you are reading my blog, please let me know?  😉

If you are in the middle of an uphill battle, I think this film may help. First, it is a good movie.  It takes your mind off your trouble for about 2 to 3 hours.  Second, someone fought some difficult battles about 90 years ago and many are fighting theirs today, so you are not alone!

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Entry Filed under: Movie Ping 影評

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