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The Changeling 

Written by veteran TV producer J. Michael Stracynski after a year of meticulous research, Clint Eastwood’s period thriller tells the story of Christine Collins, an L.A. single mother whose son, Walter, disappeared in 1928, setting off a bizarre series of events that exposed deep corruption in the L.A. Police Department. Angelina Jolie plays Collins, a phone-company supervisor who, in the mode of the day, glides across the switchboard floor in roller skates. When her beloved Walter (Gattlin Griffith) disappears, Collins tries to enlist the help of an indifferent LAPD. After five months, the police announce they have found the boy in Illinois, but when the child arrives, Collins knows he isn’t her son. The movie hews closely to the facts of the case though mercifully doesn’t dramatize the more sensational details of the “Wineville Chicken Coop Murders.” Jolie is affecting in a performance much quieter than her excellent histrionics in A Mighty Heart. HHH 1/2

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