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To find her son, she did what no one else dared. 

Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Clint Eastwood 
Starring: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Gattlin Griffith and Michael Kelly.  
An image from Changeling

Based on a true story of a mother’s search for her lost boy in 1928, Angelina Jolie portrays Christine Collins whose son, Walter (Gattlin Griffith), is missing. Following an extensive investigation and search for Walter, lasting for five months, the L.A Police Department claim to have found him. They arrange a public reunion, but to the horror of Christine Collins, the boy who is presented to her as her son, is not him at all. What follows is the horrific cover-up of the case by the L.A.P.D. Christine Collins is institutionalised when she attempts, with the help of Reverend Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), to create a scandal by claiming that her son is still missing.

The true story behind this film is enough to make your blood turn cold, but the hidden, folkloric meaning behind the title is what emphasises this the most: a changeling is a creature, likened often to a troll or fairy that has been put in the place of a snatched child.

Clint Eastwood took on this daring project from director Ron Howard, but he is far from second best. The film’s aesthetic is wonderful, capturing the 1920s look and feel beautifully; it also appears to have a life of its own, displaying melancholy moods throughout. Angelina Jolie is at her best here. Being a mother adds something extra to her grief stricken performance. She is riveting and yet painful to watch, and her acting abilities have no bounds in this film. John Malkovich also puts in a wonderful performance as the ambitious pastor desperate to uncover the injustices occurring in the L.A.P.D. Their chemistry together is also riveting and their humble yet dedicated friendship is a joy to watch.

This film is as beautiful as it is heart-wrenching and a definite must see!

Rachael Pilson-Wood

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)