Changeling

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(2008) ★★★★★

ITV3: Sunday 15 November, 11.00pm

“Yours is a story with a happy ending,” Los Angeles police captain Jeffrey Donovan tells Angelina Jolie, “and people love happy endings.” In front of the press and a crowd of cheering onlookers, he’s just handed over a boy to Ms Jolie, inconsolable since her son went missing in March 1928. Now it’s high summer, and here’s a nine-year-old boy being presented to her in front of flashing cameras. But it isn’t her son.

Radio preacher John Malkovich tries to help Jolie discover the truth, but they are up against a mighty and corrupt organization: the LAPD in the Prohibition era. Clint Eastwood’s devastating drama – a true story, constructed from documents scheduled for destruction at Los Angeles City Hall – is a meticulously crafted, beautifully designed and grimly compelling picture that gives up its dreadful secrets gradually. Ominously, the real-life case file was called the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders.

And Changeling is one of those rare movies that’s so powerfully moving because, in the midst of unspeakable horror and squalor, someone does the decent thing. In this case, it’s detective Michael Kelly, defying his superior officers because, beyond getting at the truth, he has no vested interest in the outcome of a genuinely shocking case. So there is no happy ending. There never is. That’s just something oftimes spun by people working to agendas. And always by Hollywood, of course. Except here. This is a Clint Eastwood picture. And it’s fit to hang alongside the other municipal Los Angeles masterpieces, Chinatown and LA Confidential.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 142min

IMDB – Changeling

TMDB – Changeling

Rotten Tomatoes – Changeling

Other Showings Date & Time
ITV3 Saturday, 21 November at 1:05AM