I went to see The Changeling after voting Tuesday.
Now, you all probably know that I don't favor violent movies, and I'm not good with mysteries either. Any time I'm tempted to close my eyes, and plug my fingers into my ears while I sing la, la, la, la really loud, I know it would be a waste of money. It would also prompt other movie goes to throw stuff at me and yell obscenities.
But, what you don't know, is that I love non-fiction, biographies and history....above all else. I have to make a disclaimer here. Certain movies that claim to be biographical and historical are not, in my opinion. And please take note, I make that judgement call all by myself because I can.....and I pay for my own movie tickets. That's right folks, I finally ran out of gift certificates from JJ.
On to my review of The Changeling.....
It starts in Los Angeles California in March, 1928. Christine Collins and her son Walter live at 200 23rd Street in Lincoln Heights. Ironically, that's a couple of blocks from where my mother-in-law grew up, and where she lived when my husband was growing up on Johnston St.
LA was very beautiful back then...but there was a dark side. Police corruption.
John Malkovich plays a Presbyterian Minister who is on a crusade against the LAPD, and uses his pulpit and his radio broadcast to rail against them. He becomes very active throughout the story.
When Christine, a telephone operator supervisor for Pacific Telephone (where I worked in the 60's) is called into work on a Saturday, Walter is left alone. Walter is a quite boy, and while disappointed that his mother has to work, is content with staying home alone.
When Christine comes home, Walt is gone....his sandwich that she made him for lunch is still in the ice box. She immediately searches the house and surrounding neighborhood....finally she calls the LAPD. They have a strict 24 hour waiting period before they will take a missing persons report.
The search goes forward for Walt,and in August, the police notify Christine that her son had been found alive. the media swarm, and the crowd is quite large when she meets her lost son at Union Station. She doesn't say anything, but she is a bit confused with all the attention, and the police pushing her to take pictures with her son....
When she voices her doubts, they accuse her of shirking her duties as a mother....she brings the "new Walt" into her home, and when she brings him a towel he stands up in the tub, revealing the fact that he is circumcised...her son wasn't. she immediately stands him against the wall, and notices that the notch where she last measured her son is three inches higher than this Walter.
The more Christine protests, the harder life gets as the LAPD go to extreme measures to suppress her. I don't want to give any more details....and I apologize if I've given too many.
I loved this movie...it was very disturbing, but a true story. I can't believe I never knew about this story.
It gets a big thumbs up and five stars.....I wouldn't be surprised if there were some Oscars awarded to this film.
** SPOILER LINKS**
Additional links to newspaper pictures and accounts of the real story....for those of you who absolutely won't be going to the theatre.