Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Changeling (2008)

Directed by Clint Eastwood, this terrifying "true" story of a mother (a tastefully subtle Angelina Jolie) losing her child transforms into a chilling portrait of police corruption and institutional abuse when the Los Angeles police force of 1928 - during an administration in which they were essentially glorified gangsters - return the wrong child, and then send the mother to a mental hospital when she objects, in order to cover their asses. The casting of Denis O'Hare as one of the asylum's doctors inspires comparisons to American Horror Story. The second half of the movie centers around a courtroom drama, in which the mother's ensuing fight for justice with help from a sensitive pastor engenders widespread change. In a parallel development, the pursuit and judgment of a horrific serial child murderer among whose victims the mother's boy may or may not have been included provides some measure of open-ended closure to the story. It's an epic, emotional odyssey - not quite as harrowing as Midnight Express, but in a similar vein - that is a good two and a half hours long, but well worth a watch, if you can find the time for it.

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