Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cinema: Changeling

This is a long, engrossing but not totally together film. I saw the film, discussed it with Shirley and then read the usual reviews. I beg to differ.

Eastwood tries too hard to set the patina of the era: old shoes, cloche hats, old trolley, old cars parked everywhere ... okay okay ... I got that! But he does tell a spare tale: insisting that we run with it if it irks us. The tone and the palette are both wonderfully restrained.

The script was cloying to begin with: the baddies too black; the goodie too white. It was only with the introduction of the "nutter" that the script was of sufficient quality not to interrupt my enjoyment. However, the hanging scene was gratuitous. Was Eastwood trying to say that the gathered parents were seeking revenge? They weren't. Was he trying to say that state-sanctioned murder does not salve? The parents just wanted to know what happened to their boys. They wanted closure.

Now ... Jolie. I had to talk Shirley into going to see this: Jolie has been nominated; Eastwood made M$B. Sure, the Brangelina stuff makes me spew; but Jolie's craft is separate from that. Firstly, she was too gorgeous: the lips and the eyes really pop out. Secondly, she was too strong: there was no fragility, no vulnerability. Thirdly, the mothering was formulaic.

Some of the other acting was brittle, too: especially the young boys, but also the bad-cop. I felt anguish for Malkovich: what a waste of a massive talent, that alone a wavey wig.

So ... disappointing ...

Rating: ***
Cinema: Roseville
With: Shirley


Joan Elizabeth said...

We were going to go to the movies today to find a cool place to sit for an hour or two ... but did the ironing instead.

Petrea said...

I agree. Jolie has much talent, but sublimates it to her stardom.

The film's most horrific parts were well done. It had some chilling moments. The rest was, as you say, disappointing.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Today was cold so I went to the movies for a nice warm dry place. Now I am not a regular movie goer so not very critical, if a movie leaves me still thinking when I go out the door I am happy ... I found this one quite powerful in communicating the horror of corruption in places of power. (I closed my eyes in the hanging scene.)

Julie said...

I agree that Eastwood did a good unobtrusive job of laying bare his main theme. I, too, demand that film leave me thinking for the next couple of days. You can see the type of film I see from the sidebar. This was a good film: juist not ALL good.

Steffe said...

I saw this the other day. Not a very good movie. I normally like any movie from Clint Eastwood, but this wasnt much to write home about!