While this is going on, a detective named Ybarra (Michael Kelly) follows a lead on another missing-child case, and finds himself involved in a situation almost too ghastly to contemplate. This situation connects directly to Christine’s missing son, and it was especially good to see that there was one representative of the police force that seemed interested in actually doing his job.
There’s no doubt that Eastwood meant for Changeling to be a story that drives home the point of what happens when any entity, be it a government or something more secular, is given too much power. As far as the acting went, Jolie does a decent job as Christine Collins. I have never doubted that she has a fair amount of acting prowess, and I have enjoyed those rare moments when she chooses to showcase it rather than take roles where she is raiding tombs, stealing cars or curving bullets. However, there are more than a few moments when her character is overwrought, and the tears flow freely, that seem more like a performance than a genuine reaction. Malkovich, as I said earlier, is terrific, continuing the truism that no matter who he plays, be it a good guy or bad guy, you do not EVER want to be on John Malkovich’s bad side.
Some critics have said that Changeling is Oscar-worthy, while others have said the exact opposite.
For myself, it’s still a little early to make that call, given the caliber of films coming out in the next few months, but given what I saw, I would honestly be surprised if Eastwood’s latest outing walked off with Academy gold. A decent and entertaining picture, yes, but nowhere near the caliber of previous efforts like Unforgiven or Million Dollar Baby.
3 / 5 stars
What do you think? Did you like the movie? Do you agree with my thoughts?