D: Clint Eastwood
Universal/Imagine/Malpaso/Relativity (Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Robert Lorenz & Clint Eastwood)
USA 🇺🇸 2008
W: J. Michael Straczynski
DP: Tom Stern
Ed: Joel Cox & Gary Roach
Mus: Clint Eastwood
PD: James J. Murakami
Angelina Jolie (Christine Collins), John Malkovich (Rev. Gustav Briegleb), Jeffrey Donovan (J.J. Jones), Michael Kelly (Det. Lester Ybarra), Colm Feore (Chief James E. Davis), Amy Ryan (Carol Dexter)
The title may sound more suited to a horror movie, but Clint Eastwood's mysterious drama is nothing of the sort. The script was inspired by a true kidnapping events which took place in the 1920's and later became known as the "Wineville Chicken Coop" scandal.
The story follows a woman's hunt for her son when he is abducted during the depression years, and the child that the police eventually return to her is an imposter, but the authorities dismiss her claims and have her committed to a mental institution when she presses with her complaints.
Why, oh why did Angelina Jolie spend so many years of her career taking slutty roles and throwaway action nonsense when she's capable of an amazing character performance like the one on display here?
Of course, much of the credit must go to Clint Eastwood's direction and his meticulous recreation of the period.
What begins as a mystery about abduction and mistaken identity segues into a thriller about political corruption and a women's lib picture about a mother's quest for truth and justice.
The only reason this movie falls short of a better rating is that it tries to deal with a little too many issues in it's 2hr plus running time and it doesn't quite answer all the questions raised. It's still a very good piece of filmmaking and an enthralling examination of a true story.