Clint Eastwood is not able to make a crappy movie, just masterpieces. Changeling is a deeply disturbing and provocative movie based on true events, which makes it even more fucked up. As always, the murders have the strangest name: Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, check out this Wikipedia page about them if you want to know more. Writer J. Michael Straczynski spent a year working on this story which was later converted into the script for this awesome movie. I just love investigative journalism and it’s a sad thing it’s slowly being devoured by online clicky media just looking for quick buck and exploiting people’s lack of attention. Everything about this movie is great and I could go on and on about production values, sets, camera-work and other details, but that would just be a waste of digital paper. Speaking of sets, since this is a period drama that takes place in the twenties, you will be transported to this whole other world with all its antiquated technology and fashion. I also felt this rift between almost dreamy throwback to the olden days, visually speaking and incredibly corrupt and inefficient society that has made some advances since then, but still remains far from perfect.
It is the year of our Lord Satan 1928 and single mother Christine Collins is about to have one of parents’ worst nightmares come to life. She returns home, but her nine-year-old son Walter is not there. And although this would be a nation-wide crisis today, back then it was just another police report. Christine knows that something is terribly wrong, but after months and months of investigation, LAPD still has no answers. However, several months after the incident, they contact her claiming that they have found Walter…
Our man Clint sure knows how to find those good scripts. He not only finds them but also directs the shit out of them. Same as in Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby or Flags of Our Fathers, we have the same consistent level of high quality. The story itself pierces the whole male hierarchy of LAPD and our society itself. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention that the whole society accepts and abides by these unwritten rules, still based on our tribal past. However, the most discouraging aspect of this movie is the false perception that we have changed our ways in today’s society and police and that things are done differently. While we have made some progress, especially regarding the technical aspects of law enforcement, the core beliefs that that system is based upon are still the same are basis for laws that law enforcement subsequently enforces. This is a very complex problem and we’re not going to solve it with a movie review, so lets just watch the movie and absorb as much as we can. Enjoy.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Gattlin Griffith, Michael Kelly, John Malkovich, Michelle Gunn
Fun Stuff: Clint Eastwood agreed to direct the same afternoon he read the script.