Changing my view of Angelina Jolie?

I finally watched Changeling.  During the opening, I was thinking, "Oh, it’s going to be one of those plodding movies full of weirdly dramatic music…"  (What can I say, I’d watched Eclipse recently and my brain was still a little warped.)

I was impressed with Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins, a mother who has lost her son and insists that the boy returned to her is not her son. She was able to portray the necessary emotions with a sort of contained desperation. My "problem" with her in the past has more been about her movie choices rather than her acting ability.

The plot of Changeling does take some time to unfold, but it’s good.  Hard to watch, but good.  It’s a good depiction of how chauvinism ruled society in different eras.  On top of police corruption is the horrific patronization (e.g. the "little woman is confused" idea).  It seems ridiculous today that anyone would try to tell a mother that a child was hers if she insisted it wasn’t.  Shouldn’t a mother know?

I would recommend that anyone who hasn’t watched this movie do so now.  It’s definitely worth it.


Pouring Salt into wounds

Philip Noyce has come out with an action movie that is destined to be as big as some of his previous endeavors, such as Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.  Although Salt is not based on a book written by a best-selling author.  However, I think it will hold its own.  Apparently, the main character was originally supposed to be male and Tom Cruise was approached about the part.  When he backed out, it was rewritten for a female lead.  All I can say about that is "Thank goodness!"  Tom Cruise would have been bad for the part, and I find it more interesting that the main character is a woman.  I think it works better, actually.

The main premise of Salt–which one can ascertain from the trailers–is that a witness says CIA agent Eveyln Salt (Jolie) is a Russian spy.  Since she works for the CIA, she is immediately under suspicion (not somewhere I’d want to work), but she escapes the building, claiming she has to save her husband.  But is that really what she’s after?

In reality, there wasn’t that much to the plot of the movie.  It all takes place in a short amount of time, but it’s packed with action and fleshed out with flashbacks.  There was a twist to the plot that I didn’t expect, perhaps because I was so hyped up on the adrenalin-packed action scenes.  I did, however, predict a different plot twist so I guess I didn’t completely fail.

I enjoyed Salt.  It’s a good action movie with good acting.  I thought Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor were particularly good, although I was impressed with Jolie, perhaps because she didn’t talk much.  And punched a lot of people.  Exciting!