“A thematic companion piece to Mystic River but more complex and far-reaching, Changeling impressively continues Clint Eastwood‘s great run of ambitious late-career pictures,” writes Variety‘s Todd McCarthy, who was given an early look at the Burbank Studios on May 5th. “Emotionally powerful and stylistically sure-handed, this true story-inspired drama begins small with the disappearance of a young boy, only to gradually fan out to become a comprehensive critique of the entire power structure of Los Angeles, circa 1928. Graced by a top-notch performance from Angelina Jolie, the Universal release looks poised to do some serious business upon tentatively scheduled opening late in the year.”
McCarthy’s liking for Jolie’s performance is well put: “As she did in A Mighty Heart, Jolie plays a woman abruptly and agonizingly deprived of the person closest to her. But impressive as she may have been as the wife of Danny Pearl, her performance here hits home more directly due to the lack of affectation — no accent, frizzed hair or darkened complexion, and no attempt to consciously rein in emotion. There are inevitable one-note aspects to her Christine Collins, as she must exasperatedly repeat her positions to the authorities again and again. But Jolie makes it clear Christine maintains a grip on her sanity in the face of many assaults on its stability.”