Director: Clint Eastwood
Year Released: 2008
Hard-working single mother Angelina Jolie returns home from a Saturday at work to find her son missing - when the LAPD claims to find him shortly thereafter, she insists it's the wrong boy, and they deem her insane … and this is just Act 1. Eastwood may or may not be atoning for past sins with this picture - if you've followed his biography, he's no stranger to mistreating women - which strongly criticizes not just the police but also the victimization of women by men (in general), with tough-as-nails Jolie devoting every second of free time to the search for her son. The (shockingly based-on-fact) story is what propels this forward, so compelling I only found myself minimally bothered by Jolie's shouting and the sensational psychiatric hospital scenes (shock treatment!) and the courtroom scenes (I really should stop being so bothered by Hollywood's use of the trial to finalize movies and enact proper justice but then I keep forgetting Hollywood consists of a ton of legal advisors). Between this picture and Mr. Eastwood's other 2008 movie (Gran Torino) I notice both have rather flattering views of religious figures: in Gran Torino, a young priest offers guidance to the grizzled Korean War vet while in this a Reverend (John Malkovich) is the driving force behind freeing Jolie from prison and exposing the corruption of the cops. I suppose it could be a coincidence, although I doubt it: the octogenarian seems to be suggesting we can't forget about matters of faith in times of crisis.