Film Reviews: Changeling, Rachel Getting Married

Alison Myers reviews ‘Changeling’ and ‘Rachel Getting Married’


changelingIf you’re casting a film about a single mother who takes on a corrupt and sexist police force to find her missing son, Angelina Jolie would be the first person to come to mind. Christine Collins, however, was not some kick-arse superhero. She was a suburban working mother who, unlike the LA police in 1928, was not prepared to settle for a boy who matched her boy’s description. Showing her range as an actor, Jolie infuses Christine with vulnerability and desperation, her strength coming only from her implacable need to find her son. The Christine Collins case was connected to another horrific crime that occurred in LA in the late 1920s, and Jason Butler Harner deserves mention for his disturbing portrayal of the creepiest of the many creeps in this story. Clint Eastwood directing Angelina Jolie promised to be a powerhouse combination, and they sure delivered. 4.5 stars.

‘Rachel Getting Married’

rachel-getting-marriedWeddings are fraught occasions at the best of times, but throw in a recovering drug addict sister visiting from rehab, and you’re in for an interesting weekend. Kym has the love and support of her family but her past behaviour and current self-absorbtion constantly detract from her sister’s special day. This film accurately portrays the fluctuations of family relationships during times of enforced togetherness. Unfortunately, the performances vary similarly, with the moments of amazing tenderness and pain only making the occasional mawkishness and artificiality all the more jarring. The wedding scenes are colourful and fresh, if a bit self-indulgent – yes, this is a very cool wedding, get on with it! The film’s great strength is it manages to create sympathy for all the characters, even Anne Hathaway’s unlikeable Kym. The stand-out performances are Rosemarie DeWitt and Bill Irwin as her long-suffering sister and father. 3.5 stars

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