DRAMA; 2hr 21min
STARRING: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan
Not far from the madding crowd: Jolie
With the restraint at which he is a long-term past master, director Clint Eastwood moves quietly into the true story of Los Angeles telephone company supervisor and sole parent Christine Collins (Jolie), whose nine-year-old son Walter (Gattlin Griffith) disappears in March 1928 while she is at work. No stranger to harsher realities, Christine handles her loss with a survivor’s lonely strength. But when after five months the amoral LAPD produces a strange boy (Devon Conti) and insists he is Walter, her appalled dismay brings a fresh edge to her grief.
Christine won’t go quietly, however. At the urging of a fiery pastor (Malkovich as the Reverend Gustav Briegleb), she takes her case to the press. Police reaction to her persistence is remorseless and swift, with juvenile investigation unit chief Captain J.J. Jones (Donovan) committing her to a psychiatric ward.
Jolie’s portrayal is starkly honest, stripped of vanity and brimming with conviction. Eastwood is correspondingly in tune, setting a course through Christine’s groundbreaking history with the calm certainty of an instinctive storyteller.