At heart, I like watching films that were made before the last four decades, but once in a while I get amazed by a recent film. Which is what happened yesterday evening when I saw this. If you ask me, this film kind of slipped under the cover last year. It didn't receive that much hype (or is it me who has been under a rock?) and the only real interest for me in seeing it was Angelina Jolie's Oscar nominated performance (Jolie is kind of over-exposed in the media if you ask me, and I wanted to see if she had acting chops--I think this is probably the first film of hers I've seen). Other than that I wanted to see another Clint Eastwood film (Million Dollar Baby being so wonderful and all). Oh and this film is set in the 20s and that is always a bonus.
Fascinating subject matter this film has, it perfectly explores the anxieties and anger of a mother with a missing son, who is brought back a boy who isn't him. You can feel the corruption of the LAPD, the isolation and alienation of this mother and the injustice of the matter. The film works on multiple layers, and Eastwood unfolds each without the film feeling like one jumbled mess. The film is moody and depressive for the most part, but as justice comes to the forefront in the form of several characters who have goodness and integrity, you can also feel hope.
I love the cinematography, the details that allow one to be transported to the late 20s. As far as I'm concerned the costumes are accurate and so are the set-pieces. The colour of the film uses a lot of dark green and brown shades that add to the sombre mood. The music completes the mood of the film-it has a tinge of jazz, but mostly uses piano sounds that are haunting.
This is my kind of film--thought provoking, haunting, a beautiful score and cinematography that places you in a particular time and space.