Ever since I had first seen the trailer I really wanted to see this film, I love Clint Eastwood films and the story seemed something which was right up my alley. So what took me so long to get around to seeing this? I honestly have no idea, I have had it all year to watch and I finally just decided to sit down and watch it.
I really wish I had done that as soon as I got this film, to sum it up I really loved it. I know people didn't care for this film and others did, that is the thing with films. Not everyone is going to share the same opinion, but I was really engrossed by this and I found it overall just fantastic.
The film is based on true events (as like a film it isn't entirely accurate but the changes they made worked as a film overall) of Christine Collins whose son Walter goes missing one day. After months of searching he is apparently found but Christine is convinced the child brought back is not her son. The police call her insane and commit her to an asylum as horrific events start to unfold about murders. The murders in real life are known as the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders.
It all sounds a little crazy right? But the fact is that did actually happen, you can read up about the real case, and you will be pretty stunned. I hadn't really heard much about it, I am a true crime nut but this case hadn't come up in any books I've been reading lately. As I mentioned things were changed for the film but the fact remains that Walter did go missing, a boy was returned to Christine and she was committed to the hospital, and the police were exposed for what they did and how they treated her.
So what did I love about this? The way the film was told, I thought it flowed so well, it moved at a good pace, there was nice character development. I like films that don't rush and they take time to tell the story, now not every film can do this right but Clint Eastwood knows a thing or two about pacing and he does it so damn well. He really hit the nail on the head when he cast Angelina Jolie, she looked the part, and she played the part to perfection. I could easily say this is one of her best performances if not her best one. She really is perfect here, for me she was flawless. She really does outshine everyone else and holds her own, she is worth seeing the film. Jeffrey Donovan is good as Captain J.J. Jones, he hit most of the right notes and I did like him in the role. He really made you want to just slap him something stupid, which is the reaction you're supposed to have for the character. I was really engrossed by Michael Kelly as Detective Lester Ybarra, he is such a great actor and he really delivered the goods. He played all the right notes and he was just a real joy to watch. Of course we have John Malkovich as Rev. Gustav Briegleb and this was a role he could do in his sleep. He's always great to see and he makes it worth it, he brings his A game.
This film wouldn't have worked so well without the fantastic performances, everyone as I said delivered. Clint did an excellent job with his cast, and his directing his top notch. He brings out the best with his performers and the locations and shots are all just so fantastic and you really get a feel for the time it was set. It is all shot so beautifully and with a tone of sadness which fits the story of the film.
The only negative I had was with the script, some of the dialogue of Christine's was really repetitive and it got annoying towards the end. I am sure they could have scripted it a bit differently but alas in the end this is what we got and I really tried not to have it bring the film down.
Recommended for Angelina fans, you can't go passed this one that is for sure. Naturally if you love Clint behind the camera you need to check this out, and of course if you love true crime and films based on true events this would be for you as well.