Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 142 minutes
Directed by Clint Eastwood (who has also directed Play Misty for Me, Pale Rider, Unforgiven, A Perfect World, Million Dollar Baby, as well as several others, including last year's Gran Torino, which is on my "must see" list)
Written by J. Michael Straczynski (he has written for several different television shows, ranging anywhere from He-Man and She-Ra to The Twilight Zone to Babylon 5... I believe that this is his 1st screenplay - he is also the writer behind the upcoming World War Z, Ninja Assassin, and Silver Surfer films!)
Angelina Jolie (Hackers, Gia, The Bone Collector, Mr & Mrs Smith, Wanted, etc)
John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire, Mulholland Falls, Con Air, The Man in the Iron Mask, Knockaround Guys, Being John Malkovich, Eragon, Burn After Reading, etc. He is also going to he in next year's Jonah Hex)
Jeffrey Donovan (Michael from the television series Burn Notice! He was also in Blair Witch 2: The Book of Shadows)
Christine Collins is overjoyed when her young kidnapped son, Walter, is brought back home. However, when Christine suspects that the Walter who was returned to her is not her actual child, the police captain has her committed to an asylum. Soon, a crusading Reverend comes to Christine's rescue, in this gripping 1920's-set drama.
To be completely honest with you, my main reason for seeing this film was because Jeffrey Donovan is in it. [he plays a 'burned' spy in one of my favorite television shows, Burn Notice]
What I learned from this, is that even though I love his character in that television show, Donovan pretty much came across as a one-dimensional actor.
Where this film really shined was in Angelina Jolie's performance!
Not really knowing anything about the film [other than the fact stated in the plot summary] I was riveted to the screen the entire running time of the movie.
The film is based on a true story that is related to the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, that took place back in the 1920's.
On March 10th, 1928, Christine Collins [a switch-board operator supervisor and single mother] was called into work on a scheduled day off. Pretty much forced to leave her 9 year-old son home alone [which was really not an uncommon practice back then] she returned home that afternoon, to find her son missing. [Now, if you are a parent, I am sure that you would agree that this is every parent's worst nightmare, and Angelina Jolie shows her fear and emotions superbly well!]
Not giving anything away - around 5 months later, a young boy fitting her son's description is found and returned to Christine. She immediately states that the boy is not her son, however the police captain [Jeffrey Donovan] states that she is in a state of shock, and it has been 5 months, after all. Not to mention the fact the the boy recalls his home address, etc.
When Christine takes the boy home, and gets him in the bath, she realizes that this boy is circumcised, where her son was not - she then measures him and realizes that he is several inches shorter than her son.
Still, the police and others involves do not want to hear it, so Christine gets her real son's teacher, dentist, etc involved and takes her case public, drawing the attention of a Reverend [played awesomely by John Malkovich] who has a radio show that discusses corruption within the police department.
When the police department feels that things are getting out of hand, they institutionalize Christine [again, I am not giving anything away that the trailer does not already reveal] in an asylum for the insane, raising the ire of the Reverend.
I am going to leave the rest for you to see for yourselves. . .
Here's the trailer:
Just in case you were not aware, this film has been nominated for 3 Oscars, including Best Actress for Angelina Jolie!
A must-see film!