I deliberately avoided going to the cinema to see “Changeling“.  Why?  Because, I probably knew too much about it and whatever I didn’t know, I assumed.  What I knew was that this film was a drama about missing children, directed by one of the most dramatic directors ever – Clint Eastwood, and starring Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich.    While I do appreciate drama, it’s had for me sometimes to take all the sadness in the film, especially when there is a beautiful woman who is sad.

With missing children somewhere in the story, I thought, it was almost guaranteed that Angelina Jolie would be sad for a significant chunk of the screen time.  That’s hard to watch on its own.  Multiply that by Clint Eastwood’s directing, and add to that John Malkovich, who is a sort of actor that can multiply anything happening on the screen ten-folds, and the result would be something so sad that it would border with depressing.  That’s why I was trying to avoid this film a bit.  But I knew that I’d watch it anyway.  And so I did.

This film is a beautiful piece of art.  It is an interesting, slowly unfolding, story.  It’s an authentic look back at Los Angeles during 1920-1930’s.  It’s an excellent cast, with some really talented actors.   And its an excellent directorship.

It is a sad movie, yes.  But not as sad as I thought it would be.  It is in sad in a very sensible way.  Plus, it gives a lot to think about.    The film brings topics of family, humanity, social responsibility and bureaucracy.

Overall, highly recommended.  My rating: 5 stars.