I decided on Saturday to finally watch Changeling. I’ve had it in my apartment for at least a month if not two, largely due to my lack of desire to watch anything super serious or that might make me cry. As my Netflix subscription continues to chip away at my bank account (however little it may be), I figured it was time to get that queue back in motion again.
I’ve realized I’ve become very bad at watching movies at home. I’m always paying bills, cleaning, organizing clothes, you name it. Way too much multitasking to focus on a movie such as this one. I made myself promise that I was not going to do that for this one, as I was guessing (and rightly so) it wouldn’t work for this film. I first made myself completely finish off my dinner “projects”, which include things which I’ll be posting on here in the days ahead so stay tuned. I curled up under my yellow thermal blanket, Dixie asleep most of the time on my legs, and did nothing but watch the movie.
I found it a little slow to start, but quickly took to the aestheticly pleasing nod to the period. Angelina Jolie really looked the part of the time period and was a natural fit with her short yet wavy do and cute snug hat. I absolutely agree with Eastwood’s rationale in casting her for the role.
The movie picked up quickly though once Jolie’s son disappears. I don’t want to ruin the movie, but as there’s some that is evident in the preview, I’ll elaborate up to a certain point. I was just horrified at the difficulties Jolie’s character, real life Christine Collins, endured at the hands of a LAPD department set up with no means to balance. It leaves you wondering how much corruption exists today. I found myself sitting there feeling as helpless as she did in sympathy as they treated her as if she were truly crazy for pushing away a son brought back to her even when he truly was not her son. I can’t imagine dealing with not only losing your son, but having someone in a position of authority making you out to be crazy.
I was reading more on the film today and the case on which it was based. It was such a high-level of negative exposure for the LAPD and the city in which the crimes were committed that the town about an hour outside of LA changed its name from Wineville to Mira Loma. I found it extremely eerie to pull up the page (link above) regarding the case and have the real photo of Gordon Northcott looking back at me. His face… his eyes… so much of him is similar to Jason Butler Harner that it made me shiver. Wikipedia implied Gordon’s mother, Sarah Louise Northcott, was a participant in the crimes, a fact not present in the movie. Other articles I’ve read online seem to state that is not the case. It looks like there’s a book scheduled to be released titled “The Road Out of Hell” on the story of Sanford Clark, the nephew of Gordon Northcott, November of this year.
I thought it was really well-done. Chilling translation of history into film. And even though she’s not been on my favorite list as of late (sorry dear – I think you’re overplayed), Angelina did an excellent job in this role. I’d recommend this movie, along with a box of tissues and someone/thing to snuggle with (Dixie was excellent in this capacity as she loves to lick off my tears – haha).