Sunday, November 2, 2008
Will "Changeling" Change Angelina Jolie?
Have you seen the trailers: Angelina Jolie clutching her chest ala Sarah Bernhardt, shouting agonizingly and painfully: “I want my son!”
Clint Eastwood chose a story so incredible, were it not true, it would still have made a good (albeit unbelievable) movie. But knowing it actually occurred makes the facts of the rampant police corruption and elaborate cover-ups, including institutionalizing women who are a risk to the maintenance of their power and control…extraordinary.
Also notable was the recreation of California in the 20’s and 30’s and excellent performances by relatively unknown child actors.
But what amazes and intrigues the most is the star of the film, Angelina Jolie (who wore makeup, even while committed to a mental hospital!). The irony of this woman who takes others peoples children like trophies or stray kittens or a collection of ceramic dolls playing this role is incredulous!
Does Jolie the woman - Jolie the mother – dissociate totally from Jolie the actress playing the role of a mother suffering the loss of a child? Does she use some reverse form of method acting to not feel the agony of a mother’s inability to accept an interchangeable child for her “own”?
Amy Ryan’s character, Carol Dexter, “gets it.” She identifies with Jolie’s character, Christine Collins, because Dexter has lost two children because of incompetent medical care.
In an additional irony, Carol Dexter, who is also incarcerated in the psyche ward, shares with Christine the secret to staying safe in the loony bin. Counseling Christine (the new fish) to eat and act “normal,” Dexter explains that if you smile too much, you look delusional/hysterical; if you cry, you're depressed; and if you show no emotions, you are emotionally devoid/catatonic. Click here for a clip of this scene.
I was struck by the fact that these are the very same criteria social workers of the 60’s used to judged “unwed” mothers – already a suspiciously deviant lot for having “gotten themselves” pregnant.
Angie please...stop the insanity! The kids you take have family, they have cultures that you pluck them from. They have mothers who cry for them...and just like Christine Collins, never give up the hope of seeing them again.
Art, in this case is far more real than the world of Angelina Jolie in which mothers are interchangeable.