With great performances, elaborate writing, phenomenal costuming and set pieces, and some classic direction, CHANGELING is a feast of a period piece. Clint Eastwood gets everything into this tight direction. Angelina Jolie appears perfectly suited to play a victim of the sanitoriums of the roarin' '20's and her performance as a devastated mother makes her appear suited for motherhood and capable of caring for six children of her own. I mean, this was before her six children I think, but anyway I was convinced. John Malkovich seems oddly placed as a religious leader until he begins speaking on his pulpit against corruption, and later as a supporter of Collin's defense. Jefferey Donovon's sleazy police captain is both hard-boiled as a performance and vile as a character. J.M. Straczynski's plotting is elaborate. Corruption, abusive authority, poor objective scientific application, manipulating truth, and sexism are all social norms in the Los Angeles town in the roaring '20's. In this film, the authority figures seem to have dehumanized themselves in favor of a well-oiled mechanistic society and with their abusive manipulation of public opinion. Anyone with power is hard and obtuse to anyone else's difficulties, while humane treatment and empathy are simply absent to those who've built their fortresses of power and dominance. And if that wasn't enough, true sociopathy is revealed in a serial killer whose demise is rooted in corporal punishment brought over from the Nineteenth Century. I mean, it's well worth the watch, even if it may have a plot hole.