On a day in 1928 in Los Angeles, a 9 year old boy disappears. All his single mother Christine Collins (played by Angelina Jolie) knows is that she returned home from work that day and her son was gone. She immediately calls the police who start to search for the boy. After five months, a boy who fits Walter’s description is found interstate and when he says he is Walter, he is returned to Christine with huge media frenzy. When the boy arrives back in LA to reunite with his mother he is met by flash-bulbs, newspapers, police and public officials. But … Christine is quite sure this boy is not her son. She is insistent, but the police are not interested, presuming she is just hysterical from the shock of the experience. She keeps on with this and as the weeks go by local pastor Gustav Briegleb (by John Malkovich) starts a campaign to fight police incompetence and corruption and she is grateful for his support as she seeks to right this wrong … so the police and government try to intimidate her into silence. They try very hard indeed – many people would buckle under this sustained pressure over such a long period, but Christine’s resolve is strong. At the same time, another boy has been found at a country property elsewhere who has his own horrific tale to tell of his treatment there. Could this lead to finding Walter?
This is a very well told, gripping, horrific and tense true story and it is a beautifully made move by Clint Eastwood. He is just a great director and movie maker – he manages it without wizardry, just good solid acting, great photography and excellent mood-setting. This is one of the best performances from Angelina Jolie that I’ve seen. John Malkovich, as always, is very good as Pastor Briegleb.