the Popcorn Reel Awards Season 2009
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by Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
November 12, 2008

ANGELINA JOLIE as Christine Collins

A performance that smolders and explodes -- these adjectives define the acting of Angelina Jolie in "Changeling", Clint Eastwood's film based on the true story of Christine Collins, who in 1928 in Los Angeles had her only child kidnapped.  Ms. Collins had to overcome the corruption rife within the Los Angeles Police Department to get to the truth about what happened to her son, in an age in America where women, who were just finding their voices following the triumphs of the suffrage movement in getting women the right to vote, were still supposed to be seen and not heard.  Ms. Jolie however, is seen and heard, giving power, vulnerability and a moral certitude to Ms. Collins, without appearing to be self-righteous.  This is a difficult feat, and it would have been easy for Angelina Jolie to tear into the role by grandstanding and making theater out of it, but Ms. Jolie wisely restrains herself, becoming a self-contained presence, dramatically lowering her star-power wattage and absorbing the character she becomes.

"Changeling" opened last month in the U.S. and Canada, and Ms. Jolie who has performed better in more serious roles ("Girl, Interrupted", "The Good Shepherd", "A Mighty Heart") than she has in comedy or action fare ("Life Or Something Like It", "Mr. And Mrs. Smith", "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider", "Wanted"), looks a lock for a nomination for Oscar in January.  Curiously, Ms. Jolie was not nominated for last year's film "A Mighty Heart", which makes the possibility of her nomination for "Changeling" all the more likely this time around.

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