A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power? Written by
The title refers to a European folk legend. Supposedly, fairies, elves, trolls, or even the devil would occasionally steal young children from their cradles, and leave a false child - a "changeling" - in its place. The changeling would grow sick and die, or exhibit bad behavior as it grew up, while the real child would supposedly become the slave of those who took it, and would never be seen again by its parents. The "changeling" legend was sometimes used to explain infant deaths or disorders such as mental retardation or autism in children. See more »
Rev. Gustav and Mrs. Collins meet at his home. The walls in the background are full of religious images, including St. Anthony of Padua holding the child Jesus. No Protestant minister, especially in the 1930s, would have an image of a Catholic saint in their home; it would be considered 'Popish idolatry'. See more »
Wow, is this an involving story. It hooks you in fast and really grabs hold. It's very good in that aspect because it really makes you care about what happens. The story involves a parent's worst nightmare, so I would expect moms and dads to be particularly horrified. The movie manipulates, no doubt being overdone here and there, but it's generally effective.
Angelina Jolie does a superb job of portraying a Los Angeles woman ("Christine Collins") in the late 1920s whose boy is kidnapped. Five months later, the "proud" police department brings her kid back, making it a good PR session. Unfortunately, it's not her kid and stupidly, although she's naturally upset about, she poses with the kid and takes him home. (Would that really happen?).
Then she begins her quest of finding her real "Walter." Further twists and turns make the story increasingly horrifying. In all, you won't be able to keep your eyes off the screen wondering if justice will ever prevail in the end and who exactly is involved in what. It's not particularly a fun ride - you'll have a frown on your face for quite some time - but it sure is interesting and an excellent two hour-plus of entertainment. By the end, you'll be emotionally exhausted.
Kudos to all the actors in here for riveting performances and to the production and design team for a great period piece. Where else can you feel you're back 75-80 years in time with the boxy cars and flapper hats than in movies?
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