Cannes ‘08: Kenneth Turan’s review of Clint Eastwood’s ‘Changeling’

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Clint Eastwood‘s ‘Changeling,’ a.k.a., ‘Exchange,’ starring Angelina Jolie as a defiant single mother in 1920s Los Angeles, is gathering positive notices following its premiere this morning in Cannes.

Here is an excerpt from Times film critic Kenneth Turan’s review and Turan’s quicktake direct from the Palais:

Even for Eastwood, “Changeling,” which premiered here Tuesday night, is a surprising film. A based-on-fact story of a mother who insists that the missing boy returned to her by the Los Angeles Police Department is in fact not her son, the powerful, disturbing “Changeling” is hopeful as well as unnerving, concerned as it is with both the implacability of evil and the power of belief.

Made with Eastwood’s trademark assurance and storytelling skill, “Changeling” is in part, the director well knows, “a horror story for adults, not for thrill-seeking kids.” But in almost the same breath he acknowledges what is for him a new focus: “A mother’s love is the whole driving force of the movie.”

Playing the mother is Angelina Jolie, whose skill and seriousness greatly impressed Eastwood. “She’s become a publicity magnet; everyone wants to know what she’s doing,” the director says. “Because you see her in all the tabloid papers, it’s easy to overlook her, and she is really underrated.

“I think she’s one of the few actresses that would have been just as big if she’d worked in Hollywood’s so-called Golden Age.” And, Eastwood adds, she’s got a good sense of humor.

“I’d kid her all the time,” he says. “If I wanted to see her on the set I’d say, ‘Get the Tomb Raider’ or ‘Get Angie Dickinson.’ If you have a face that pretty, a lot of people underrate you. It looks like it’s carved out of stone.”

Read the entire review here.