Sometimes I watch a movie and when I start I know nothing about it. This was one of those times. I didn’t know the story, the actors and the director.
Funny, I didn’t recognize Angelina Jolie all movie long. I think of her as an action hero type actress, not a demure yet righteous mother of an abducted boy.
I also didn’t know it was directed by Clint Eastwood, until I read the credits after the movie.
Only John Malkovich was obvious.
The story, supposedly based on true events, tells of a mother who loses her child while she is at work one day. The story starts in March of 1928 and ends around fall of 1933, spanning the great depression, in Los Angeles. The police department and much of the city administration is hopelessly corrupt. We follow her struggle to find her lost sun and try to bring the perpetrators and enablers to justice.
Here is a film without special effects, no gun fights, fireballs or explosions of any type, just people with motives and people with pain. Yet the story is so well told that it draws you in right away and keeps you there, all 2 hours and 20 minutes, a comparatively long movie. The cinematography is fascinating. Where do they find all those 1920ies cars, streetcars and locales to make such a movie.
Eastwood does it again; he is a master director. He proves to me that he can make a movie that I can watch, without knowing a thing about it beforehand, without knowing the actors, and still get a great deal of entertainment and awe out of it.