Christine Collins (Left), Angelina Jolie (Right)
The movie Changeling , released 2008, is based on a heart wrenching true story. Clint Eastwood directed this sensitive piece expertly. The costumes, music, props, acting, and the entire combination seen on the screen were fabulous and period for depicting the late 1920's through about 1935. Angelina Jolie, Jeffrey Donovan, and John Malkovich showed their awesome acting abilities in this dramatic piece. I applaud their performance in the Changeling .
Changeling begins with the main character Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie), a working single-mother with a son, taking her son to school, showing where she works, and the life she and Walter had together. These scenes are very touching. The audience gets a good look at Walter. We even see Christine Collins measure Walter's height and mark the door frame so Walter can see how tall he is. There is no doubt in one's mind about how close these two are. Then the movie continues with its horrifying plot, a kidnapping, but not one you recognize right away. Walter first becomes a "missing child".
Just when one believes this to be another "missing child" movie and are prepared to watch the mother go through the trauma, Walter Collins is found, but even the audience can tell upon his return that it is NOT Walter. He looks different, even shorter. I cheered when the main character points this out the minute Walter steps off of the train, and determinedly does not accept the new Walter even though encouraged to do so by the Chief of Police. Christine Collins continues to beg the Police Captain JJ. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) to resume searching for her son Walter, which leads to her becoming locked up on a Code 12 (Police Appointment) to a Psychiatric Ward. The Police Captain claims she is "distraught and paranoid".
My husband stood up and yelled exuberantly when Reverend Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich) pulled strings and managed to get Christine Collins released. This film did not end there, oh no, it moves forward, for this describes only the beginning, and portrays the struggle Christine Collins has in order to obtain justice. Not just for her self, but others.
The Changeling definitely proves how deep a parent's love for their child truly is. How important "hope" actually is, especially throughout a traumatic and horrifying time. This movie further demonstrates the police mind-set of the 1920's and 1930's. A period where the police force had more of a free reign of what they could do to a citizen in order to "maintain the peace" within a community; very scary.
Highly recommend Changeling ! This film is available on DVD. I did some investigating and this movie did support the main facts that are listed in the Los Angles Times. Changeling is 2 hours 22 minutes in length; worth every second!
For more information about Christine Collins search for her son Walter please visit here.