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Friday, February 20, 2009

Changeling

"The boy they brought back is not my son."
Someone pass me the Kleenex, because I had to fight back the tears watching this movie. Angelina's performance was so heart wrenching. She plays single mother Christine Collins, whose son is abducted from their LA home in the late 1920s. She seeks police help to find her son. After her son is missing for five months, she receives a call from the police telling her her son has been found. Emotional and overjoyed, Collins runs down to the station, only to be met by a young boy who was not her son. Heartbroken, she tells the cops there's been a mistake, but they encourage her that the son is hers and that the emotional stress and the time frame has probably gotten her confused (this is of course as the press hounds the scene hovering to get the first glimpse of the mother whose son has finally come home). trying to save face and look good for the press, the LA police department convinced this young mother to take home a son who wasn't hers and shut the case down, hoping to come off as heroic act in the press.
As you can imagine, Collins goes on a one woman search to find her son and bring down the police department who forced her to take home a stray boy in order to close the case for good. After several visits and phone calls from the distraught mother, including a visit from the local evangelist who's teamed with several legal aides to come to Collin's side, the police sent her to a mental institution to get her out of their hair. Who she meets there will encourage her to go on the fight of her life--to bring down the LA police force, with the support of the local, and well connected, evangelist.
The film is shot very darkly, capturing the mood and the times. Angelina's performance was powerful and at times agonizing. I felt like I was truly watching the real-life Christine Collins, who despite devastation, humiliation and loss, never gave up on looking for her son.

My rating: A+

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