Changeling

3.470149253713 (1340)
Posted by motoman 04/29/2009 @ 08:11

Tags : changeling, movies, cinema, entertainment

News headlines
Cannes 2009: Great — or the Greatest — Festival? - TIME
13, 2009 Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrive to attend the screening of actor and director Clint Eastwood's film Changeling at the 61st Cannes International Film Festival in 2008. The Croisette, the beach-front street that serves as the main artery for...
Opening Nights: Schmee and Balagan Play With History - Seattle Weekly
Add to all this the strange periodic appearances by The Changeling (played by several cast members in a sort of round-robin), who haunts them by speaking in German, gibberish, and finally a rather eloquent extra-terrestrialese while guzzling their soda...
Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt Return to Cannes Fest (VIDEO) - TheImproper.com
And, she had two films to promote, the animated “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Changeling.” This year her schedule won't be quite as heavy. But Brad will be working to promote the new Quentin Tarantino film “Inglorious Basterds.” Brad stars in the World War...
The Changeling a charming family production - Ottawa Citizen
And because The Changeling, a family show at the NAC until May 16, is a fairy tale, that love works a transformation. It bridges the gulf between human and troll and reminds us, as we need to be reminded time and again, that appearance is nothing,...
Star Trek : Season 2 : Episode 3-4 "The Changeling" / "Mirror, Mirror" - A.V. Club
I guess I'll just have to settle for this week's classic Trek double injection, "The Changeling" and "Mirror, Mirror." No flashy new effects, lens flares, or over-priced popcorn for this nerd. Just good old fashioned plywood sets and melodrama, and,...
TV's shorthand for misogyny - guardian.co.uk
Pulling in 5 million viewers and based on the Jacobean tragedy The Changeling, the film followed Anjika (Parminder Nagra) as her life unravelled after she graduated from Cambridge (a fact that was superfluously revisited throughout, as in "so did you...
Stars Aligned for Movie Deals - Wall Street Journal
Angelina Jolie and Jeffrey Donovan in "Changeling," a Clint Eastwood film from Universal Studios. Time Warner, for instance, saved $140 million annually by combining New Line and Warner Bros. The music industry has shown the way....
Enjoy an outdoor staging of Shakespeare with twist - Kent News
After the success of last summer's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Hazlitt Arts Centre and the Changeling Theatre are returning to Kent this year with a special performance of The Merchant of Venice. The performance, which stars former Hollyoaks actor,...
The illusions of those few marvellous years - Financial Times
The drama was loosely based on Thomas Middleton's Jacobean play The Changeling, which tells of the obsessive attraction felt by a woman for the man who murders a prospective husband chosen, against her wishes, by her father....
When second novels go bad - Los Angeles Times
Three in particular I've recently curled up with: Martin Amis's slightly feral "Dead Babies," Joy Williams' drunken, reeling "The Changeling" and Zadie Smith's wry, laddy "The Autograph Man." None were much liked by critics, none became bestsellers...

Changeling

Trolls with the changeling they have raised, John Bauer, 1913.

A Changeling is a creature found in Western European folklore and folk religion, it is typically described as being the offspring of a fairy, troll, elf or other legendary creature that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. The apparent changeling could also be a stock, an enchanted piece of wood that would soon appear to grow sick and die.

A human child might be taken due to many factors: to act as a servant, the love of a human child, or malice. Most often it was thought that fairies exchanged the children. Some Norwegian tales tell that the change was made to prevent inbreeding, to give trolls and humans new blood, humans were given children with enormous strength as a reward. In some rare cases, the very elderly of the Fairy people would be exchanged in the place of a human babe, and then the old fairy could live in comfort, being coddled by its human parents. Simple charms, such as an inverted coat or open iron scissors left where the child sleeps, were thought to ward them off. The best way to get rid of a changeling is to threaten it with iron.

Changelings would be identified by voracious appetite, malicious temper, difficulty in movement, and other unpleasant traits. Medieval chronicles recorded instances of this, which is one of the oldest known pieces of folklore about fairies. Changelings usually can be identified by a greenish tint to their skin. Changelings also hate shoes so they walk about barefoot as often as possible. They are very wise and possess vocabularies betraying vast intellect. Their hair is hopelessly tangled, no matter how many times you brush it, and grows very fast. It is said that if you cut a changeling's hair, it will have grown back the next morning. Their eyes and hair are usually earthen colors such as green and brown. In Scottland it was generally believed that Changlings had a great love of playing upon Pipes, and would do anything to get a hold of that or similar instruments. Needing no teaching at all to be able to play upon them.

According to some legends, it is possible to detect changelings as they are much wiser than human children. When changelings are discovered in time, their parents must return them. In one tale of the Brothers Grimm, there's an account of how a woman, who suspected that her child had been exchanged, started to brew beer in the hull of an acorn. The changeling uttered: "now I am as old as an oak in the woods but I have never seen beer being brewed in an acorn", then disappeared.In Irish folk,tea brewed with foxglove will send the changeling back. This is also a common method used in the English isles. There the mother will brew beer in eggshells. The Changling will call out the same as in the Grimm Tale above, and then the mother will know her child is a changling.

Changelings are picky eaters unless offered something they like. They have pointed ears. They also grow slower than other humans. Compared to other children, Changelings tend to be extremely eccentric in personality and in clothing choices. As young adults, their strange traits will become harder and harder to conceal.

Children suspected to be Changelings could be expected to have very difficult lives from all around them, subjected to numerous and endless tests, and never loved as never thought to be a true child.

Some people believed that trolls would take unbaptized children. Once the child is baptized and therefore part of the Church, the trolls can't take them. One belief is that trolls thought that being raised by humans was something very classy, and that they therefore wanted to give their own children a human upbringing.

Beauty in human children and young women, particularly blond hair, attracted the fairies.

In Scottish folklore, the children might be replacements for fairy children in the tithe to Hell; this is best known from the ballad of Tam Lin.

Some folklorists believe that fairies were memories of inhabitants of various regions in Europe who had been driven into hiding by invaders. They held that changelings had actually occurred; the hiding people would exchange their own sickly children for the healthy children of the invaders.

In other folklore, the changelings are put in place of the child to feed off of the mother of the child. The kidnapped child then becomes the food source of the changlings mother. This is done for survival of their kind. Once the mother of the kidnapped child, and the changelings mother have drained the life from the mother and child, the changling and its mother begin to search for a new suitable food source. Other sources say that human milk is necessary for fary children to survive. In these cases either the newborn human child would be switched with a fary babe to be suckled by the human mother, or the human mother would be brought back to the fary world to breast feed the fary babies. It is also thought that human midwives were necessary to bring Bary babes into the world.

Note: Some changelings might forget they are not human and proceed to live a human life. Changelings which do not forget, however, may later return to their fairy family, possibly leaving the human family without warning. As for the human child that was taken, he or she may often stay with the fairy family forever.

The Men-an-Tol stones in kernow / Cornwall are supposed to have a fairy or pixy guardian who can make miraculous cures. In one case a Changeling baby was put through the stone in order for the mother to get the real child back. Evil pixies had changed her child and the ancient stones were able to reverse their evil spell.

In Ireland, looking at a baby with envy -- "over looking the baby" -- was dangerous, as it endangered the baby, who was then in the fairies' power. So too was admiring or envying a woman or man dangerous, unless the person added a blessing; the able-bodied and beautiful were in particular danger. Women were especially in danger in liminal states: being a new bride, or a new mother.

Putting a changeling in a fire would cause it to jump up the chimney and return the human child, but at least one tale recounts a mother with a changeling finding that a fairy woman came to her home with the human child, saying the other fairies had done the exchange, and she wanted her own baby. The tale of surprising a changeling into speech -- by brewing eggshells -- is also told in Ireland, as in Wales.

Belief in changelings endured in parts of Ireland until recent times; in 1895, Bridget Cleary was killed by her husband who believed her to be a changeling.

The ritual impurity of the parturient mother and her child exposed them, according to traditional Maltese belief, to unusual danger especially during the first few days after birth. A changeling child (called mibdul, 'changed') was taken to St Julian's Bay, where a statue of the saint stands, and given a sand-bath. A cordial was also administered, in attempts to return the child.

Since most beings from Scandinavian folklore are said to be afraid of iron, Scandinavian parents often placed an iron item such as a pair of scissors or a knife on top of an unbaptized infant's cradle. It was believed that if a human child was taken in spite of such measures, the parents could force the return of the child by treating the changeling cruelly, using methods such as whipping or even inserting it in a heated oven. In at least one case, a woman was taken to court for having killed her child in an oven.

In one Swedish changeling tale, the human mother is advised to brutalize the changeling so that the trolls will return her son, but she refuses, unable to mistreat an innocent child despite knowing its nature. When her husband demands she abandon the changeling, she refuses, and he leaves her - whereupon he meets their son in the forest, wandering free. The son explains that since his mother had never been cruel to the changeling, so the troll mother had never been cruel to him, and when she sacrificed what was dearest to her, her husband, they had realized they had no power over her and released him.

In another Swedish fairy tale (which is depicted by the image), a princess is kidnapped by trolls and replaced with their own offspring against the wishes of the troll mother. The changelings grow up with their new parents, but both find it hard to adapt: the human girl is disgusted by her future bridegroom, a troll prince, whereas the troll girl is bored by her life and by her dull human future groom. Upset with the conditions of their lives, they both go astray in the forest, passing each other without noticing it. The princess comes to the castle whereupon the queen immediately recognizes her, and the troll girl finds a troll woman who is cursing loudly as she works. The troll girl bursts out that the troll woman is much more fun than any other person she has ever seen, and her mother happily sees that her true daughter has returned. Both the human girl and the troll girl marry happily the very same day.

Child ballad 40, The Queen of Elfan's Nourice, depicts the abduction of a new mother, drawing on the folklore of the changelings. Although it is fragmentary, it contains the mother's grief and the Queen of Elfland's promise to return her to her own child if she will nurse the queen's child until it can walk..

In Asturias (North Spain) there is a legend about the Xana, a sort of nymph who used to live near rivers, fountains and lakes, sometimes helping travelers on their journeys. The Xanas were conceived as little female fairies with supernatural beauty. They could deliver babies, "xaninos," that were sometimes swapped with human babies in order to be baptized. The legend says that in order to distinguish a "xanino" from a human baby, some pots and egg shells should be put close to the fireplace; a "xanino" would say: "I was born one hundred years ago, and since then I have not seen so many egg shells near the fire!".

In Wales the changeling child (plentyn newid) initially resembles the human it substitutes, but gradually grows uglier in appearance and behaviour: ill-featured, malformed, ill-tempered, given to screaming and biting. It may be of less than usual intelligence, but again is identified by its more than childlike wisdom and cunning.

The common means employed to identify a changeling is to cook a family meal in an eggshell. The child will exclaim, "I have seen the acorn before the oak, but I never saw the likes of this," and vanish, only to be replaced by the original human child. Alternatively, or following this identification, it is supposedly necessary to mistreat the child by placing it in a hot oven, by holding it in a shovel over a hot fire, or by bathing it in a solution of foxglove.

Real children were sometimes taken to be changelings by the superstitious, and therefore abused or murdered.

Two 19th century cases reflected the belief in changelings. In 1826, Anne Roche bathed Michael Leahy, a four-year-old boy unable to speak or stand, three times in the Flesk; he drowned the third time. She swore that she was merely attempting to drive the fairy out of him, and the jury acquitted her of murder. In the 1890s in Ireland, Bridget Cleary was killed by several people, including her husband and cousins, after a short bout of illness (probably pneumonia). Local storyteller Jack Dunne accused Bridget of being a fairy changeling. It is debatable whether her husband, Michael, actually believed her to be a fairy - many believe he concocted a 'fairy defence' after he murdered his wife in a fit of rage. The killers were convicted of manslaughter rather than murder, as even after the death they claimed that they were convinced they had killed a changeling, not Bridget Cleary..

The ogbanje (pronounced similar to "oh-BWAN-jeh") is a term meaning "child who comes and goes" among the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria. When a woman would have numerous children either stillborn or die early in infancy, the traditional belief was that it was a malicious spirit that was being reincarnated over and over again to torment the afflicted mother. One of the most commonly-proscribed methods for ridding one's self of an ogbanje was to find its iyi-uwa, a buried object that ties the evil spirit to the mortal world, and destroy it.

Many scholars now believe that ogbanje stories were attempting to explain children with sickle-cell disease, which is endemic to West Africa and afflicts around one-quarter of the population. Even today, and especially in areas of Africa lacking medical resources, infant death is common for children born with severe sickle-cell disease.

Aswangs, a kind of ghoul from the Philippines, are also sometimes said to leave behind duplicates of their victims made of plant matter. Like the stocks of European fairy folklore, the Aswang's wood duplicates soon appear to sicken and die.

The reality behind many changeling legends was often the birth of deformed or developmentally disabled children. Among the diseases with symptoms that match the description of changelings in various legends are spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, PKU, progeria, Down syndrome, homocystinuria, Williams syndrome, Hurler syndrome, Hunter syndrome, and cerebral palsy. The greater proneness of boys to birth defect correlates to the belief that boy babies were more likely to be taken.

As noted, it has been hypothesized that the changeling legend may have developed, or at least been used, to explain the peculiarities of children who did not develop normally, probably including all sorts of developmental delays and abnormalities. In particular, it has been suggested that children with autism would be likely to be labeled as changelings or elf-children due to their strange, sometimes inexplicable behavior. This has found a place in autistic culture. Some high-functioning autistic adults have come to identify with changelings (or other replacements, such as aliens) for this reason and their own feeling of being in a world where they don’t belong and of practically not being the same species as the "normal" people around them. In the book The Stolen Child, Keith Donohue talks about the life of a changeling from the point of view of two boys, one of which was evidently autistic.

In Episode 12, Season 3 of So Weird, titled "Changeling", Annie and the boys are stuck babysitting a changeling.

In Episode 2, Season 3 of Supernatural, titled "The Kids Are Alright", Sam and Dean discover that many of the neighborhood children are actually changelings, following several mysterious deaths in the neighborhood. In this episode the changelings are controlled by a mother changeling who feeds on the kidnapped children.

A changeling appeared in Mike Mignola's comic book short story Hellboy: The Corpse.

A changeling appeared in the first Courtney Crumrin comic book mini-series.

In William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania and Oberon are fighting over the possession of a changeling boy, and because of their argument, nature is in upheaval, and all the subsequent action of the plot ensues.

To the top



Changeling (film)

Changeling poster.jpg

Changeling is a 2008 American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by J. Michael Straczynski. Based on real life events in 1928 Los Angeles, the film stars Angelina Jolie as a woman who is reunited with her missing son—only to realize he is an impostor. After she confronts the city authorities they vilify her as an unfit mother and brand her delusional. The dramatized incident was connected to the "Wineville Chicken Coop" kidnapping and murder case. Changeling explores female disempowerment, political corruption, child endangerment and the repercussions of violence. Ron Howard intended to direct, but scheduling conflicts led to his replacement by Eastwood. Howard and Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer produced, alongside Malpaso Productions' Robert Lorenz and Eastwood. Universal Pictures financed and distributed the film.

After hearing about the case from a contact at Los Angeles City Hall, Straczynski spent a year researching the historical record, which he said shaped 95% of the script. The shooting script was Straczynski's first draft and his first produced film screenplay. Several actors campaigned for the lead; Eastwood cast Jolie partly because he felt her face fit the period setting. Jeffrey Donovan, Jason Butler Harner, John Malkovich, Michael Kelly, and Amy Ryan also feature. Most of the characters were based on real life people, while some were composites. Principal photography began on October 15, 2007, and concluded in December 2007; filming took place in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. Eastwood's low-key direction led actors and crew to note the calmness of the set and the short working days. In post-production, scenes were supplemented with computer-generated skylines, backgrounds, vehicles and people.

Changeling premiered at the 61st Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2008, to critical acclaim. Further festival appearances preceded a limited release in the United States on October 24, 2008. The film opened wide in North America on October 31, 2008, in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2008, and in Australia on February 5, 2009. Critical reaction was more mixed than at Cannes; the acting and story were generally praised, while criticism focused on the film's conventional staging and lack of nuance. It performed better at the international box office than in North America, earning $111.5 million worldwide. Changeling received nominations in three Academy Award and eight BAFTA Award categories.

In 1928 Los Angeles, single mother Christine Collins (Jolie) returns home to discover her nine-year-old son, Walter (Griffith), is missing. Reverend Gustav Briegleb (Malkovich) publicizes Christine's plight and rails against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for its incompetence, corruption and the extrajudicial punishment meted out by its "Gun Squad", led by Chief James E. Davis (Feore). Several months after Walter's disappearance, the LAPD tells Christine that he has been found alive. Believing the positive publicity will negate recent criticism of the department, the LAPD organizes a public reunion. Although "Walter" (Conti) claims he is Christine's son, she says he is not. Captain J. J. Jones (Donovan), the head of the LAPD's Juvenile Division, insists the boy is Walter and pressures Christine into taking him home "on a trial basis".

After Christine confronts Jones with physical discrepancies between "Walter" and her son, Jones arranges for a medical doctor to visit her. He tells Christine that "Walter" is shorter than before his disappearance because trauma has shrunk his spine, and that the man who took Walter had him circumcised. A newspaper prints a story that implies Christine is an unfit mother; Briegleb tells Christine it was planted by police to discredit her. Walter's teacher and dentist give Christine signed letters confirming "Walter" is an impostor. Christine tells her story to the press; as a result, Jones sends her to Los Angeles County Hospital's "psychopathic ward". She befriends inmate Carol Dexter (Ryan), who tells Christine she is one of several women who were sent there for challenging police authority. Dr. Steele (O'Hare) deems Christine delusional and forces her to take mood-regulating pills. Steele says he will release Christine if she admits she was mistaken about "Walter"; she refuses.

Detective Ybarra (Kelly) travels to a ranch in Wineville, Riverside County, to arrange the deportation of 15-year-old Sanford Clark to Canada. The boy's uncle, Gordon Northcott (Harner), has fled after Ybarra unwittingly alerted him to his visit. Clark tells Ybarra that Northcott forced him to help kidnap and murder around twenty children, and identifies Walter as one of them. Jones tells Briegleb that Christine is in protective custody following a mental breakdown. Jones orders Clark's deportation, but Ybarra makes Clark reveal the murder site. Briegleb secures Christine's release by showing Steele a newspaper story about the Wineville killings that names Walter as a possible victim. "Walter" reveals his motive was to secure transport to Los Angeles to see his favorite actor, Tom Mix, and says the police told him to lie about being Christine's son. The police capture Northcott in Vancouver, Canada. Christine's attorney (Pierson) secures a court order for the release of the other unfairly imprisoned women.

On the day of the city council's hearing into the case, Christine and Briegleb arrive at Los Angeles City Hall, where they encounter thousands of protesters who are demanding answers from the city. The hearing is intercut with scenes from Northcott's trial. The council concludes that Jones and Davis should be removed from duty, and that extrajudicial internments by police must be reviewed. Northcott's jury finds him guilty of murder and the judge sentences him to death by hanging. Two years later, Christine has not given up her search for Walter. Northcott sends her a message saying he is willing to admit to killing Walter on condition that Christine meets him before his execution. She visits Northcott, but he refuses to tell her if he killed her son. Northcott is executed the next day. In 1935, David Clay—one of the boys assumed to have been killed—is found alive. He reveals that one of the boys with whom he was imprisoned was Walter. David, Walter and another boy escaped, but were separated. David does not know whether Walter was recaptured, giving Christine hope he is alive.

In 1926, Gordon Stewart Northcott took his 14-year-old nephew, Sanford Clark, from the boy's home in Saskatchewan, Canada, to Northcott's ranch in Wineville. Northcott beat and sexually abused Clark, and in September 1928, the police took Clark into custody after a family member informed them of the situation. Clark revealed that Northcott had kidnapped, molested and killed several young boys with the help of Northcott's mother—Sarah Louise Northcott—and the forced participation of Clark himself. The police found no bodies at the ranch—Clark said they were dumped in the desert—but discovered body parts, blood-stained axes, and personal effects belonging to missing children. Northcott and his mother fled to Canada, but they were arrested and extradited to the United States. Sarah Louise initially confessed to the murders, including that of Walter Collins. She later retracted her statement, as did Northcott, who had confessed to killing five boys.

After Christine Collins was released from Los Angeles County Hospital, she sued the police department and won the second of two lawsuits. Although Captain Jones was ordered to pay Collins $10,800, he never did. A city council welfare hearing recommended that Jones and Chief of Police James E. Davis leave their posts, but both were eventually reinstated. The California State Legislature later made it illegal for the police to commit someone to a psychiatric facility without a warrant. Northcott was convicted of the murders of Lewis and Nelson Winslow (12 and 10 respectively), and an unidentified Mexican boy, though the authorities believed he may have committed as many as 20 murders. Northcott was executed by hanging in 1930. Sarah Louise was convicted of Walter Collins' murder and served almost 12 years in prison before being paroled. After Northcott's execution, a boy believed to have been killed by Northcott was found alive. In 1930, the residents of Wineville changed the town's name to Mira Loma, partly to escape the notoriety brought by the case.

Several years before writing Changeling, television screenwriter and former journalist J. Michael Straczynski was contacted by a source at Los Angeles City Hall. The source told him that officials were planning to burn numerous archive documents, among them "something should see". The source had discovered a transcript of the city council welfare hearings concerning Collins and the aftermath of her son's disappearance. Straczynski became fascinated with the case; he carried out some research, and wrote a spec script titled The Strange Case of Christine Collins. Several studios and independent producers optioned the script, but it never found a buyer. Straczynski felt he lacked the time to devote to making the story work and only returned to the project following the cancellation of his television show Jeremiah in 2004. After 20 years as a screenwriter and producer for television, Straczynski felt he needed a break from the medium, so he spent a year researching the Collins case through archived criminal, county courthouse, city hall and city morgue records. He said he collected around 6,000 pages of documentation on Collins and the Wineville murders, before learning enough to "figure out how to tell it". He wrote the first draft of the new script in 11 days. Straczynski's agent passed the script to producer Jim Whitaker. He forwarded it to Ron Howard, who optioned it immediately.

In June 2006, Universal Studios and Howard's Imagine Entertainment bought the script for Howard to direct. The film was on a shortlist of projects for Howard after coming off the commercial success of The Da Vinci Code. In March 2007, Universal fast tracked the production. When Howard chose Frost/Nixon and Angels & Demons as his next two directing projects, it became clear he could not direct Changeling until 2009. After Howard stepped down, it looked as if the film would not be made, despite admiration for the script in the industry. Howard and Imagine partner Brian Grazer began looking for a new director to helm the project; they pitched the film to Eastwood in February 2007, and he agreed to direct immediately after reading the script. Eastwood said his memories of growing up during the Great Depression meant that whenever a project dealing with the era landed in his hands, he "redoubled his attention" upon it. Eastwood also cited the script's focus on Collins—rather than the "Freddy Krueger" story of Northcott's crimes—as a factor in deciding to make the film.

With Collins as the inspiration, Straczynski said he was left with a strong desire "to get it right"; he approached it more like "an article for cinema" than a regular film. He stuck close to the historical record because he felt the story was bizarre enough that adding too many fictional elements would call into question its integrity. Straczynski claimed 95% of the script's content came from articles, testimony, transcripts and correspondence from the period. He said there were only two moments at which he had to "figure out what happened", due to the lack of information in the records. One was the sequence set in the psychopathic ward, for which there was only limited after-the-fact testimony. Straczynski originally wrote a shorter account of Collins' incarceration. His agent suggested the sequence needed development, so Straczynski extrapolated events based on standard practice in such institutions at the time. It was at this stage he created composite character Carol Dexter, who was intended to symbolize the women of the era who had been unjustly committed. Straczynski cited his academic background—which includes majors in psychology and sociology—as beneficial to writing the scenes, specifically one in which Dr. Steele distorts Collins' words to make her appear delusional. Straczynski worked at making the dialogue authentic, while avoiding an archaic tone. He cited his experience imagining alien psyches when writing Babylon 5 as good practice for putting himself in the cultural mindset of the 1920s.

Among the changes Straczynski made from the historical record was to omit Northcott's mother—who participated in the killings—from the story. He also depicted Northcott's trial as taking place in Los Angeles, though it was held in Riverside. The title is derived from Western European folklore and refers to a creature—a "changeling"—left by fairies in place of a human child. Due to the word's association with the supernatural, Straczynski intended it only as a temporary title, believing he would be able to change it later on.

The filmmakers retained the names of the real life protagonists, though several supporting characters were composites of people and types of people from the era. Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins; five actors campaigned for the role, including Reese Witherspoon and Hilary Swank. Howard and Grazer suggested Jolie; as Eastwood felt her face fit the period setting, he agreed. Jolie joined the production in March 2007. She was initially reluctant because, as a mother, she found the subject matter distressing. She said she was persuaded by Eastwood's involvement, and the screenplay's depiction of Collins as someone who recovered from adversity and had the strength to fight the odds. Jolie found playing Collins very emotional. She said the most difficult part was relating to the character, because Collins was relatively passive. Jolie ultimately based her performance on her own mother, who died in 2007. For scenes at the telephone exchange, Jolie learned to roller skate in high heels—a documented practice of the period.

Jeffrey Donovan portrays Captain J.J. Jones, a character Donovan became fascinated with because of the power Jones wielded in the city. The character quotes the real Jones's public statements throughout the film, including the scene in which he has Collins committed. Donovan's decision to play Jones with a slight Irish accent was his own. John Malkovich joined the production in October 2007 as Reverend Gustav Briegleb. Eastwood cast Malkovich against type as he felt this would bring "a different shading" to the character. Jason Butler Harner plays Gordon Northcott, whom Harner described as "a horrible, horrible, wonderful person". He said Northcott believes he shares a connection with Collins due to their both being in the headlines: "In his eyes, they’re kindred spirits." Harner landed the role after one taped audition. Casting director Ellen Chenoweth explained that Eastwood chose Harner over more well-known actors who wanted the part because Harner displayed "more depth and variety" and was able to project "a slight craziness" without evoking Charles Manson. Eastwood was surprised by the resemblance between Northcott and Harner, saying they looked "very much" alike when Harner was in makeup.

As Harner did for the Northcott role, Amy Ryan auditioned via tape for the role of Carol Dexter. She cited the filming of a fight scene during which Eastwood showed her "how to throw a movie punch" as her favorite moment of the production. Michael Kelly portrays Detective Lester Ybarra, who is a composite of several people from the historical record. Kelly was chosen based on a taped audition; he worked around scheduling conflicts with the television series Generation Kill, which he was filming in Africa at the same time. Geoff Pierson plays Sammy Hahn, a defense attorney known for taking high-profile cases. He represents Collins and in doing so plants the seeds for overturning "Code 12" internments—used by police to jail or commit those deemed difficult or an inconvenience. Code 12 was often used to commit women without due process. Colm Feore portrays Chief of Police James E. Davis, whose backstory was changed from that of his historical counterpart. Reed Birney plays Mayor George E. Cryer; Denis O'Hare plays composite character Doctor Jonathan Steele; Gattlin Griffith plays Walter Collins, and Devon Conti his doppelgänger, Arthur Hutchens. Eddie Alderson plays Northcott's nephew and accomplice, Sanford Clark.

James J. Murakami supervised the production design. Location scouting revealed that many of the older buildings in Los Angeles had been torn down, including the entire neighborhood where Collins lived. Suburban areas in San Dimas, San Bernardino and Pasadena doubled for 1920s Los Angeles instead. The Old Town district of San Dimas stood in for Collins' neighborhood and some adjacent locales. Murakami said Old Town was chosen because very little had changed since the 1920s. It was used for interiors and exteriors; the crew decorated the area with a subdued color palette to evoke feelings of comfort. For some exterior shots they renovated derelict properties in neighborhoods of Los Angeles that still possessed 1920s architecture. The crew converted the third floor of the Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles into a replica of the 1920s Los Angeles City Council chambers.

A train station in San Bernardino doubled for the site of Collins' reunion with "Walter". The production filmed scenes set at San Quentin in the community. A small farm on the outskirts of Lancaster, California stood in for the Wineville chicken ranch. The crew recreated the entire ranch, referencing archive newspaper photographs and visits to the original ranch to get a feel for the topography and layout. Steve Lech, president of the Riverside Historical Society, was employed as a consultant and accompanied the crew on its visits.

The production sourced around 150 vintage motor cars, dating from 1918 to 1928, from collectors throughout Southern California. In some cases the cars were in too good a condition, so the crew modified them to make the cars appear like they were in everyday use; they sprayed dust and water onto the bodywork, and to "age" some of the cars they applied a coating that simulated rust and scratches. The visual effects team retouched shots of Los Angeles City Hall—on which construction was completed in 1928—to remove weathering and newer surrounding architecture. Costume designer Deborah Hopper researched old Sears department store catalogs, back issues of Life magazine, and high-school yearbooks to ensure the costumes were historically accurate. Hopper sourced 1920s clothing for up to 1,000 people; this was difficult because the fabrics of the period were not resilient. She found sharp wool suits for the police officers. The style for women of all classes was to dress to create a demure silhouette, using dropped waist dresses, cloche hats that complemented bob cut hairstyles, fur-trimmed coats and knitted gloves. Jolie said the costumes Collins wore formed an integral part of her approach to the character. Hopper consulted historians and researched archive footage of Collins to replicate her look. Hopper dressed Jolie in austere grays and browns with knitted gloves, wool serge skirts accompanying cotton blouses, Mary Jane shoes, crocheted corsages and Art Deco jewelry. In the 1930s sequences at the end of the film, Jolie's costumes become more shapely and feminine, with a decorative stitching around the waistline that was popular to the era.

Principal photography began on October 15, 2007, finishing two days ahead of its 45-day schedule on December 14, 2007. Universal Pictures provided a budget of $55 million. The film was Eastwood's first for a studio other than Warner Bros. since Absolute Power (1997). Filming mainly took place on the Universal Studios backlot in Los Angeles. The backlot's New York Street and Tenement Street depicted downtown Los Angeles. Tenement Street also stood in for the exterior of Northcott's sister's Vancouver apartment; visual effects added the city to the background. The production also used the Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank, California. Eastwood had clear childhood memories of 1930s Los Angeles and attempted to recreate several details in the film: the town hall, at the time one of the tallest buildings in the city; the city center, which was one of the busiest in the world; and the "perfectly functioning" Pacific Electric Railway, the distinctive red streetcars of which feature closely in two scenes. The production used two functioning replica streetcars for these shots, with visual effects employed for streetcars in the background.

The original edit was almost three hours long; to hone it to 141 minutes, Eastwood cut material from the first part of the film to get to Collins' story sooner. To improve the pacing he also cut scenes that focused on Reverend Briegleb. Eastwood deliberately left the ending of the film ambiguous to reflect the uncertain fates of several characters in the history. He said that while some stories aimed to finish at the end of a film, he preferred to leave it open-ended.

Changeling was director of photography Tom Stern's sixth film for Eastwood. Eastwood and Stern innovated by using hand-held wireless video screens to watch live feeds of some shots. Despite the muted palette, the film is more colorful than some previous Stern–Eastwood collaborations. Stern referenced a large book of period images. He attempted to evoke Conrad Hall's work on Depression-set film The Day of the Locust, as well as match what he called the "leanness" of Mystic River's look. Stern said the challenge was to make Changeling as simple as possible to shoot. To focus more on Jolie's performance, he tended to avoid the use of fill lighting.

Stern shot Changeling in anamorphic format on 35mm film using Kodak Vision 500T 5279 film stock. He used Panavision C-Series lenses that had neutral density filters mounted behind to allow adjustment of the lens aperture. Due to the large number of sets, the lighting rigs were more extensive than on other Eastwood productions. The crew made several ceilings from bleached muslin tiles. Stern lit the tiles from above to produce a soft, warm light that was intended to evoke the period through tones close to antique and sepia. The crew segregated the tiles using fire safety fabric Duvatyn to prevent light spilling onto neighboring clusters. The key light was generally softer to match the warm tones given off by the toplights. Stern used stronger skypans—more intense than is commonly used for key lighting—to reduce contrasts when applying daytime rain effects, as a single light source tended to produce harder shadows.

Stern lit scenes filmed at the Park Plaza Hotel using dimmable HMI and tungsten lights rigged within balloon lights. This setup allowed him to "dial in" the color he wanted, as the blend of tones from the tungsten fixtures, wooden walls and natural daylight made it difficult to illuminate the scenes using HMIs or daylight exclusively. Stern said the period setting had little effect overall on his lighting choices because the look was mostly applied in the production design and during digital intermediate (DI), the post-production digital manipulation of color and lighting. Technicolor Digital Intermediates carried out the DI. Stern supervised most of the work via e-mailed reference images as he was in Russia shooting another film at the time. He was present at the laboratory for the application of the finishing touches.

CIS Vancouver and Pac Title created most of the visual effects, under the overall supervision of Michael Owens. CIS' work was headed by Geoff Hancock and Pac Title's by Mark Freund. Each studio created around 90 shots. Pac Title focused primarily on 2D imagery; VICON House of Moves handled the motion capture. The effects work consisted mainly of peripheral additions: architecture, vehicles, crowds and furniture. CIS used 3D modeling package Maya to animate city scenes before rendering them in mental ray; they generated matte paintings in Softimage XSI and Maya, and used Digital Fusion for some 2D shots. The team's work began with research into 1928 Los Angeles; they referenced historical photographs and data on the urban core's population density. CIS had to generate mostly new computer models, textures and motion capture because the company's existing effects catalog consisted primarily of modern era elements. CIS supplemented exteriors with skylines and detailed backdrops. They created set extensions digitally and with matte paintings. CIS created city blocks by using shared elements of period architecture that could be combined, rearranged and restacked to make buildings of different widths and heights; that way, the city could look diverse with a minimum of textural variation. CIS referenced vintage aerial photographs of downtown Los Angeles so shots would better reflect the geography of the city, as Hancock felt it important to have a consistency that would allow audiences to understand and become immersed in the environment.

To maintain the rapid shooting pace Eastwood demanded, Owens chose to mostly avoid using bluescreen technology, as the process can be time-consuming and difficult to light. He instead used rotoscoping, the process whereby effects are drawn directly onto live action shots. Rotoscoping is more expensive than bluescreen, but the technique had proved reliable for Eastwood when he made extensive use of it on Flags of Our Fathers to avoid shooting against bluescreen on a mountaintop. For Owens, the lighting was better, and he considered rotoscoping to be "faster, easier and more natural". Owens used bluescreen in only a few locations, such as at the ends of backlot streets where it would not impact the lighting. The Universal Studios backlot had been used for so many films that Owens thought it important to disguise familiar architecture as much as possible, so some foreground and middle distance buildings were swapped. One of Owens' favorite effects shots was a scene in which Collins exits a taxi in front of the police station. The scene was filmed almost entirely against bluescreen; only Jolie, the sidewalk, the taxi cab and an extra were real. The completed shot features the full range of effects techniques used in the film: digital extras in the foreground, set extensions and computer generated vehicles.

For crowd scenes, CIS supplemented the live-action extras with digital pedestrians created using motion capture. House of Moves captured the movements of five men and four women during a two-day shoot supervised by Hancock. The motion capture performers were coached to make the "small, formal and refined" movements that Owens said reflected the general public's conduct at the time. CIS combined the motion data with the Massive software package to generate the interactions of the digital pedestrians. The use of Massive presented a challenge when it came to blending digital pedestrians with live-action extras who had to move from the foreground into the digital crowd. Massive worked well until this stage, when the effects team had to move the digital pedestrians to avoid taking the live-action extras out of the shot. To allow close-ups of individual Massive extras, the effects team focused on their faces and walking characteristics. Hancock explained, "We wanted to be able to push Massive right up to the camera and see how well it held up. In a couple of shots the characters might be 40 feet away from the camera, about 1/5th screen height. The bigger the screen is, the bigger the character. He could be 10 feet tall, so everything, even his hair, better look good!" Typically, a limited number of motion performances are captured and Massive is used to create further variety, such as in height and walking speed. Because the digital extras were required to be close to the foreground, and to integrate them properly with the live action extras, House of Moves captured twice as much motion data than CIS had used on any other project. CIS created nine distinct digital characters. To eliminate inaccuracies that develop when creating a digital extra of different proportions to the motion capture performer, CIS sent nine skeleton rigs to House of Moves before work began. This gave House of Moves time to properly adapt the rigs to its performers, resulting in motion capture data that required very little editing in Massive. CIS wrote shaders for their clothing; displacement maps in the air shader were linked with the motion capture to animate wrinkles in trousers and jackets.

Owens did not have time to complete the shot before the Cannes screenings, but afterwards he used cineSync to conduct most of the work from home. The shot includes two blocks of computer-generated buildings that recede into the distance of a downtown set extension. As Collins disappears into the crowd about a minute into the shot, the live footage is gradually joined with more digital work. The streetcars, tracks and power lines were all computer generated. Live-action extras appear for the first minute of the shot before being replaced by digital ones. The shot was made more complicated by the need to add Massive extras. Owens constructed the scene by first building the digital foreground around the live action footage. He then added the background before filling the scene with vehicles and people.

Eastwood composed Changeling's jazz-influenced score. Featuring lilting guitars and strings, it remains largely low-key throughout. The introduction of brass instruments evokes film noir, playing to the film's setting in a city controlled by corrupt police. The theme shifts from piano to a full orchestra, and as the story develops, the strings become more imposing, with an increasing number of sustains and rises. Eastwood introduces voices reminiscent of those in a horror film score during the child murder flashbacks. The score was orchestrated and conducted by Lennie Niehaus. It was released on CD in North America on November 4, 2008, through record label Varèse Sarabande.

Changeling begins with an abduction, but largely avoids framing the story as a family drama to concentrate on a portrait of a woman whose desire for independence is seen as a threat to male-dominated society. The film depicts 1920s Los Angeles as a city in which women are treated as hysterical—and unreliable when they question male judgment. Film critic Prairie Miller said that in its portrayal of female courage the film was "about as feminist as Hollywood can get", and that because of this it had been the subject of sexist disdain. She compared this with the sexism shown to the women in Changeling and those who vied for high political office in 2008. Miller surmised that attitudes to independent, career-minded women had not changed significantly in the intervening years: Collins defies male-generated cultural expectations that women are not suited for professional careers and is punished for it. The portrait of a vulnerable woman whose mental state is manipulated by the authorities was likened to the treatment of Ingrid Bergman's character in Gaslight (1944), who also wondered if she might be insane; Eastwood cited photographs that show Collins smiling with the child she knows is not hers. Like many other women of the period who were deemed disruptive, Collins is forced into the secret custody of a mental institution. The film shows that psychiatry became a tool in the gender politics of the era, only a few years after women's suffrage in the United States was guaranteed by the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. As women ceased to be second-class citizens and began to assert their independence, the male establishment used mental institutions in an effort to disempower them; in common with other unmanageable women, Collins is subjected to medical treatment designed to break her spirit and compel obedience. The film quotes the testimony of the psychiatrist who treated Collins. Eastwood said the testimony evidenced how women were prejudged, and that the behavior of the police reflected how women were seen at the time. He quoted the words of the officer who sent Collins to the mental facility: "'Something is wrong with you. You're an independent woman.'" Eastwood said, "The period could not accept ".

Romantic notions of the 1920s as a more innocent period are put aside in favor of depicting Los Angeles as ruled by a despotic political infrastructure, steeped in sadistic, systematic corruption throughout the city government, police force and medical establishment. In addition to being a Kafkaesque drama about the search for a missing child, the film also focuses on issues relevant to the modern era. Eastwood noted a correlation between the corruption of 1920s Los Angeles and that of the modern era, manifesting in the egos of a police force that thinks it cannot be wrong and the way in which powerful organizations justify the use of corruption. Eastwood believed there had never been a "golden age" in the city. " Los Angeles police department every so often seems to go into a period of corruption," he said, "It's happened even in recent years ... so it was nice to comment by going back to real events in 1928." As a lesson in democratic activism, the film shows what it takes to provoke people to speak against unchecked authority, no matter the consequences. Richard Brody of The New Yorker said this rang as true for 1928 Los Angeles as it did for Poland in 1980 or Pakistan in 2008. The film directly quotes Chief of police James E. Davis: "We will hold trial on gunmen in the streets of Los Angeles. I want them brought in dead, not alive, and I will reprimand any officer who shows the least bit of mercy to a criminal." It depicts police excess as a post-Old West metropolitan counterpart to the countrified vigilantism of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, as the department's "Gun Squad" carries out illegal executions of criminals—not to eliminate crime, but competition. The pressure from the police hierarchy was a motivator for officers to quickly solve Walter Collins' disappearance, and a potential reason why they ignored the fact they had returned the wrong child.

Changeling sits with other late-period Eastwood films in which parenting—and the search for family—is a theme. It makes literal the parental struggle to communicate with children. It can also be seen as a variation of the Eastwood "revenge movie" ethic; in this case, the "avenging grunt" transforms into a courteous woman who only once makes a foul-mouthed outburst. Eastwood dealt with themes of child endangerment in A Perfect World (1993) and Mystic River (2003). Changeling is a thematic companion piece to Mystic River, which also depicted a community contaminated by an isolated, violent act against a child—a comparison with which Eastwood agreed. He said that showing a child in danger was "about the highest form of drama you can have", as crimes against them were to him the most horrible. He said, "When one comes along quite as big as this one, you question humanity. It never ceases to surprise me how cruel humanity can be." Samuel Blumenfeld of Le Monde said the scene featuring Northcott's execution by hanging was "unbearable" due to its attention to detail; he believed it one of the most convincing pleas against the death penalty imaginable. Eastwood noted that for a supporter of capital punishment, Northcott was an ideal candidate, and that in a perfect world the death penalty might be an appropriate punishment for such a crime. He said that crimes against children would be at the top of his list for justifications of capital punishment, but that whether one were pro- or anti-capital punishment, the barbarism of public executions must be recognized. Eastwood argued that in putting the guilty party before his victims' families, justice may be done, but after such a spectacle the family would find it hard to find peace. The scene's realism was deliberate: the audience hears Northcott's neck breaking, his body swings, and his feet shake. It was Eastwood's intention to make it unbearable to watch.

Changeling premiered in competition at the 61st Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2008. The film was Eastwood's fifth to enter competition at the festival. Its appearance was not part of the original release plan. Universal executives had been looking forward to the festival without the worry associated with screening a film, until Eastwood made arrangements for Changeling's appearance. He was pleased with the critical and commercial success that followed Mystic River's appearance at the festival in 2003 and wanted to generate the same "positive buzz" for Changeling. The film was still in post-production one week before the start of the festival. It appeared at the 34th Deauville American Film Festival, held September 5–14, 2008, and had its North American premiere on October 4, 2008 as the centerpiece of the 46th New York Film Festival, screening at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

The producers and Universal considered opening Changeling wide in its first weekend to capitalize on Jolie's perceived box office appeal, but they ultimately modeled the release plan after those of other Eastwood-directed films, Mystic River in particular. While the usual strategy is to open films by notable directors in every major city in the United States to ensure a large opening gross, in what the industry calls a "platform release", Eastwood's films generally open in a small number of theaters before opening wide a week later. Changeling was released in 15 theaters in nine markets in the United States on October 24, 2008. The marketing strategy involved trailers that promoted Eastwood's involvement and the more commercial mystery thriller elements of the story. Universal hoped the limited release would capitalize on good word-of-mouth support from "serious movie fans" rather than those in the 18–25-year-old demographic. The film was released across North America on October 31, 2008, playing at 1,850 theaters, expanding to 1,896 theaters by its fourth week. Changeling was released in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2008, in Ireland on November 28, 2008, and in Australia on February 5, 2009.

Changeling performed modestly at the box office, grossing more internationally than in North America. The total worldwide gross is $111.5 million. The film's limited American release saw it take $502,000—$33,441 per theater—in its first two days. Exit polling showed strong commercial potential across a range of audiences. It made $2.3M in its first day of wide release, going on to take fourth place in the weekend box office chart with $9.4M—a per-theater average of $5,085. This return surpassed Universal's expectations for the weekend. Changeling's link to the Inland Empire—the locale of the Wineville killings—generated additional local interest, causing it to outperform the national box office by 45% in its opening weekend. The film surpassed expectations in its second weekend of wide release, declining 22% to take $7.3M. By the fourth week, Changeling had dropped to fifth place at the box office, having taken $27.6M overall. In its sixth week the number of theaters narrowed to 1,010, and Changeling dropped out of the national top ten, though it remained in ninth place on the Inland chart. Changeling completed its theatrical run in North America on January 8, 2009, having earned $35.7M overall.

Changeling made its international debut in four European markets on November 12–14, 2008, opening in 727 theaters to strong results. Aided by a positive critical reaction, the film took $1.6M in Italy from 299 theaters (a per-location average of $5,402), and $209,000 from 33 screens in Belgium. Changeling had a slower start in France, but improved to post $2.8M from 417 theaters in its first five days, finishing the weekend in second place at the box office. The second week in France saw the box office drop by just 27%, for a total gross of $5.4M. By November 23, 2008, the film had taken $8.6M outside North America. The weekend of November 28–30 saw Changeling take $4.4M from 1,040 theaters internationally; this included its expansion into the United Kingdom, where it opened in third place at the box office, taking $1.9M from 349 theaters. It took $1.5M from the three-day weekend, but the total was boosted by the film's opening two days earlier to avoid competition from previews of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. The return marked the best opening of any Eastwood-directed film in the United Kingdom to that point. Its second week of release in the United Kingdom saw a drop of 27% to $1.1M. Changeling earned $7.6M in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Changeling's release in other European markets continued throughout December 2008. By December 8, the film had opened in 1,167 theaters in nine markets for an international gross of $19.1M. Changeling's next significant international release came in Spain on December 19, 2008, where it opened in first place at the box office with $2.0M from 326 theaters. This figure marked the best opening for an Eastwood-directed film in the country to that point; after six weeks it had earned $11.0M. In January 2009, major markets in which the film opened included Germany, South Korea and Russia. In Germany, it opened in ninth place at the box office with $675,000 from 194 theaters. South Korea saw a "solid" opening of $450,000 from 155 theaters. In Russia, it opened in eighth place with $292,000 from 95 theaters. By January 26, 2009, the film had taken $47.2M from 1,352 international theaters. Aided by strong word-of-mouth support, Changeling's Australian release yielded $3.8M from 74 screens after eight weeks. The film opened in Japan on February 20, 2009, where it topped the chart in its first week with $2.4M from 301 screens. After six weeks, it had earned $12.8M in the country. The film's last major market release was in Mexico on February 27, 2009, where it earned $1.4M. The international gross stands at $75.8M.

Changeling was released on Blu-ray, DVD and Video on Demand in North America on February 17, 2009, and in the United Kingdom on March 30, 2009. After its first week of release, Changeling placed fourth in the DVD sales chart with 281,000 units sold for $4.6 million; by its fourth week of release, the film had dropped out of the top 10 having earned $10.1 million. The DVD release included two featurettes: Partners in Crime: Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie and The Common Thread: Angelina Jolie Becomes Christine Collins. The Blu-ray release included two additional features: Archives and Los Angeles: Then and Now.

The film's screening at Cannes met with critical acclaim, prompting speculation it could be awarded the Palme d'Or. The award eventually went to Entre les murs ("The Class"). Straczynski claimed that Changeling's loss by two votes was due to the judges' not believing the story was based on fact. He said they did not believe the police would treat someone as they had Collins. The loss led to Universal's request that Straczynski annotate the script with sources. Although the positive critical notices from Cannes generated speculation that the film would be a serious contender at the 2009 Academy Awards, the North American theatrical release met with a more mixed response. Critics generally judged Changeling well-acted and beautifully shot, but considered the compelling story to have been told too conventionally. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, reported that reviews were "generally favorable", with an average score of 63 based on 38 reviews. As of April 6, 2009, 61% of 189 critics listed by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes had given the film a positive review, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The site reported that 44% of selected notable critics gave it a positive write-up, based on a sample of 36. The film's reception in several European countries was more favorable, and in the United Kingdom 83% of critics listed by Rotten Tomatoes gave Changeling a positive review.

CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend revealed the average grade cinemagoers gave Changeling was A− on an A+ to F scale. Audiences were mostly older; 68% were over 30 and 61% were women. Audience evaluations of "excellent" and "definitely recommended" were above average. The main reasons given for seeing the film were its story (65%), Jolie (53%), Eastwood (43%), and that it was based on fact (42%).

Séguret said the film presented a solid recreation of the era, but that Eastwood did not seem inspired by the challenge. Séguret noted that Eastwood kept the embers of the story alight, but that it seldom burst into flames. He likened the experience to being in a luxury car: comfortable yet boring. Denby and Ansen commented that Eastwood left the worst atrocities to audiences' imaginations. Ansen said this was because Eastwood was less interested in the lurid aspects of the case. McCarthy praised the thoughtful, unsensationalized treatment, while Denby cited problems with the austere approach, saying it left the film "both impressive and monotonous". He said Eastwood was presented with the problem of not wanting to exploit the "gruesome" material because this would contrast poorly with the delicate emotions of a woman's longing for her missing son. Denby said Eastwood and Straczynski should have explored more deeply the story's perverse aspects. Instead, he said, the narrative methodically settled the emotional and dramatic issues—"reverently chronicling Christine’s apotheosis"—before " on for another forty minutes". Ansen said the classical approach lifted the story to another level, and that it embraced horror film conventions only in the process of transcending them. McCarthy said Changeling was one of Eastwood's most vividly realized films, noting Stern's cinematography, the set and costume design, and CGI landscapes that merged seamlessly with location shots. Dargis was not impressed by the production design; she cited the loss of Eastwood's regular collaborator Henry Bumstead—who died in 2006—as a factor in Changeling's "overly pristine" look.

Damon Wise of Empire called Changeling "flawless", and McCarthy said it was "emotionally powerful and stylistically sure-handed". He stated that Changeling was a more complex and wide-ranging work than Eastwood's Mystic River, saying the characters and social commentary were brought into the story with an "almost breathtaking deliberation". He said that as "a sorrowful critique of the city's political culture", Changeling sat in the company of films such as Chinatown and L.A. Confidential. Honeycutt said the film added a "forgotten chapter to the L.A. noir" of those films, and that Eastwood's melodic score contributed to an evocation of a city and a period "undergoing galvanic changes". Honeycutt said, " small-town feel to the street and sets ... captures a society resistant to seeing what is really going on". Séguret said that while Changeling had few defects, it was mystifying that other critics had such effusive praise for it. Denby said it was beautifully made, but that it shared the chief fault of other "righteously indignant" films in congratulating the audience for feeling contempt for the "long-discredited" attitudes depicted. Ansen concluded that the story was told in such a sure manner that only a hardened cynic would be left unmoved by the "haunting, sorrowful saga".

In addition to the following list of awards and nominations, the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named Changeling one of the 10 best films of 2008, as did the International Press Academy, which presents the annual Satellite Awards. Several critics included the film on their lists of the top 10 best films of 2008. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker named it second best, Empire magazine named it fourth best, and Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald named it joint fourth best with Eastwood's Gran Torino.

To the top



Changeling (novel)

Changeling is a 1980 fantasy novel by Roger Zelazny. It was followed by a sequel, Madwand.

The people had long suffered under Det Morson's power. When at last, the wizard Mor joined the fight, Det and his infamous Rondoval castle were destroyed. But the victory was not complete, for the conquerors found a baby amidst the rubble: Det's son, Pol. Unwilling to kill the child, Mor took him to a parallel world where technology ruled and the ways of magic were considered mere legends. He substituted Pol for a baby of the same age, using a spell to persuade the parents to recognize him as their own. In order to retain the balance between the worlds, Mor took the baby from the other world and brought it back to his own, leaving it with a local artisan, Marak.

In the world of magic, the young Mark Marakson is obsessed with devices, building water wheels and later, steam engines. He does not understand why the people on the farms and villages rely on magicians rather than using the machinery he creates. Young Pol, meanwhile, grows up a poet, musician and singer, marked by the white streak in his dark hair. He is a great disappointment to the man he regards as his father, who is an engineer. From time to time he sees glowing strands in the air which he can touch to make things happen.

Mark is ostracised by the people around him and wanders in the hills until he finds a graveyard of machines, left from the ancient war between magic and technology. Able to restart them, he returns in triumph on a flying machine to claim his childhood sweetheart in the village, only to be assaulted by the villagers, losing an eye. Fleeing back to the graveyard he creates an army of machines to take revenge.

Mor, realizing that he has disturbed the balance of the world, goes to retrieve Pol to counter Mark, revealing Pol's heritage and powers to him. Once Pol is back, Mor has to return to the technology world to balance out the transfer. He dies in a park where every tree, bird and insect is artificial.

Pol must find his way around Castle Rondoval. The strands he can use to perform magic are everywhere around him. Soon he finds a thief who was in the castle when Mor cast a sleep spell over it. Revived, the thief becomes his helper. He also discovers Det's dragons asleep in the dungeons. Reviving the mightiest one, who recognizes him as his former master's son, he then has to set out on a quest to find the three segments of his father's magical staff, scattered across the world by Mor. On the journey, he is accompanied by Mark's former sweetheart, thus creating a romantic triangle.

The quest requires him to defeat several magical traps and guardians. Completing it, he is able to take on and defeat Mark Marakson, restoring the balance of his world. In doing so, he loses the affections of the girl. He is left to seek his future in Rondoval, among the old magics left by his father. The next part of his story is told in the novel Madwand.

To the top



Changeling (disambiguation)

A changeling is a figure in West European folklore.

To the top



The Changeling (play)

The Changeling is a Jacobean tragedy written by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. Widely regarded as "among the best" tragedies of the English Renaissance, the play has accumulated a significant body of critical commentary.

The play was licensed for performance by Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels, on May 7, 1622, and was first published in 1653 by the bookseller Humphrey Moseley.

The title page of the first edition of The Changeling attributes the play to Middleton and Rowley. The division of authorship between the two writers was first delineated by Pauline Wiggin in 1897, and is widely accepted. David Lake, in his survey of authorship problems in the Middleton canon, summarizes the standard division of shares this way.

Lake differs from previous commentators only in assigning the first seventeen lines of IV,ii to Rowley. The essential point of the dichotomy is that Rowley wrote the subplot and the opening and closing scenes, while Middleton was primarily responsible for the main plot—a division of labor that is unsurprising, given the examples of other Middleton/Rowley collaborations.

There are two parallel plots. The main plot involves Beatrice-Joanna, Alonzo, to whom she is betrothed, and Alsemero, whom she loves. To rid herself of Alonzo, Beatrice uses De Flores — who loves her — to murder him. This, predictably, has a tragic outcome. The sub-plot involves Alibius and his young wife Isabella. Franciscus and Antonio are in love with her and pretend to be madmen in order to see her. Lollio also wants her. This has a comic outcome.

Outside a church Alsemero enters from church and tells us of his love for a woman he met there. Jasperino enters from the harbour, reminding Alsemero that the ‘wind’s fair’ and that they should leave for Malta. Alsemero tells him that he’s not ready to go yet. Alsemero does not give any reason to Jasperino but tells him that he wants to stay back. In truth he wants to try and stay close to Beatrice. Beatrice enters with Diaphanta and she is greeted by Alsemero. Alsemero had a repuation as asexual. Thus, Jasperino is very surprised to learn that Alsemero has fallen in love with beatrice. Jasperino watches and comments while Beatrice and Alsemero flirt together. Alsemero proposes to Beatrice but, in an aside, she regrets that five days ago she was promised in marriage to Alonzo de Piracquo. Her father had arranged this marriage for her and Beatrice is not at all interested in Alonzo. Instead Beatrice is much taken by Alsemero. Alsemero waits for an answer. Jasperino resolves to get a girl for himself and sees Diaphanta. De Flores enters to inform Beatrice of her father’s imminent arrival. Beatrice is always repulsed by De Flores (one of the reasons being that De Flores suffers from a kind of skin disease) and treats him in the most abysmal manner. However, since De Flores is deeply besotted with Beatrice, he suffers the abuses she heaps on him just to hear her voice and see her. Beatrice tells him to go away (not only because she dislikes De Flores but also because De Flores disrupts her meeting with Alsemero), he backs off but still watches her. Jasperino and Diaphanta have a conversation full of sexual innuendos. Vermandero (who had been talking to the priest) joins Beatrice, causing her to change her behaviour. She introduces him to Alsemero. Beatrice makes her father invite Alsemero to their castle. Vermandero finds that he knew Alsemero’s father well, and they discuss him briefly. Vermandero talks of Beatrice’s fiancé, causing her to say goodbye to Alsemero in preparation for her return home. Alsemero is heartbroken hearing all this talk of Beatrice's fiance. So he plans to leave but Vermandero insists that Alsemero comes to Vermandero's castle, as Alsemero had agreed with Beatrice's proposition to tour the castle a little while back. As they leave, Beatrice drops her glove. De Flores picks it up and offers it to her but she will not take it as she is disgusted by the idea of touching something that De Flores has touched (maybe because of the skin disease). Beatrice exits and De Flores closes the scene with a soliloquy.

Alibius’ madhouse Alibius starts to tell Lollio a secret. He says he cannot satisfy his wife sexually and fears she will be disloyal to him. He asks Lollio to guard her for him and lock her up. Lollio agrees in the knowledge that he could be left alone with her and thus may get a chance to have sex with Isabella. Lollio goes on to analyse the two kinds of patients in the mental asylum -- fools (people who were born with mental deficiencies) and madmen (people who suffer a degradation of mental health during the course of their lives). He says that Alibius need not fear that Isabella will have sex with either fools or madmen. Alibius says he is more concerned with sane tourists who come to view the patients. Antonio and Pedro enter. Pedro gives Alibius lots of money to take good care of Antonio. Lollio hints that he wants some too and Pedro grants him his wish. Lollio says that Antonio has almost the appearance of a gentleman and he wouldn't have been able to figure out that Antonio was a fool. Pedro asks for Antonio (who also answers to the name of Tony because the name Antonio is too big for his mad mind to remember) to be made clever, Lollio says he will "make him as wise as myself." Pedro leaves, Alibius counts money. Lollio threatens to whip Antonio. Lollio questions Antonio with short riddles. Antonio provides very shrwed answers leading Lollio to remark that Antonio is very smart for a fool. Madmen (who are imprisoned in a different enclosure from fools) begin shouting for food, Alibius leaves to attend to the madmen whereas Lollio takes Antonio to the cells for fools.

A chamber in the castle Beatrice gives Jasperino a note for Alsemero in secret. In her soliloquy, Beatrice talks of how great Alsemero is (because she thinks that among other things Alsemero has shown sound judgement in choosing someone like Jasperino as his companion) and then how horrible Alonzo de Piracquo is. She says that the only reason why she is marrying Alonzo is because her father has forced the choice on her and she cannot disobey her father. De Flores enters (having been hiding and therefore having overheard Beatrice's proclamations of love for Alsemero) but Beatrice does not see him initially whilst he talks of his love for her and her hatred of him. She sees him and gets angry because he stalls from delivering his message. Eventually he says that Alonzo and Tomazo have arrived. He leaves after delivering another soliloquy. After De Flores exits, Beatrice, repelled by De Flores, says she will get her father to dismiss him. Vermandero, Alonzo and Tomazo enter, Vermandero makes every attempt to be a welcoming host. While Beatrice and Vermandero talk, Tomazo tells his brother that Beatrice did not seem pleased to see him. Alonzo dismisses the remark. After Vermandero informs Alonzo that Beatrice has requested a three-day postponement of their wedding, Tomazo repeats his misgivings. He tells Alonzo not to marry Beatrice because she is in love with someone else. Alonzo refuses to listen. Alonzo is blind with love and finds no faults in Beatrice. He does not think that she was behaving coldly with him.

Another chamber in the castle Diaphanta leads Alsemero into a chamber secretly. She is acting out her lady's (ie, Beatrice's) instructions. However, Diaphanta too is smitten with Alsemero. When Beatrice enters, she leaves the room but actually unwillingly as she was enjoying being alone with Alsemero. Alsemero and Beatrice talk and embrace. They talk about how they could ‘remove the cause’ by killing Alonzo. Alsemero declares he will challenge Piraquo to a duel (meaning Alsemero would end up dead or in jail.) Beatrice protests saying that that wouldn't actually help in uniting them but would rather further separate them physically. Beatrice (aside) realises that she can use De Flores to kill Alonzo and says that "The ugliest creature Creation fram'd for some use" . Beatrice shoves Alsemero back to Diaphanta (who’s overjoyed). De Flores enters, having been hidden. De Flores realises that Beatrice will have to transgress one bond (with Alonzo) if she is to have sex with Alsemero. This acts as a kind of impetus to De Flores who thinks if she breaks a bond once, she may break it several times and even he himself may have a chance to have sex with her. Beatrice decides to flirt with him. She behaves not only civilly but also amorously with him. She promises him some medicine that will cure his bad skin. He is delighted at her apparent change of heart. She tells him she is being forced to marry a man she hates, and De Flores realizes she wants him to murder Alonzo. In return she gives him some money and says a greater reward (by which she means more money but which De Flores assumes as an offer for sex) awaits him if he successfully completes the task. De Flores kneels before her (he is also a gentleman) and agrees readily to commit the murder, thinking he'll be able to sleep with her afterwards. Beatrice says she expects him to leave the country after the murder; she is pleased that she can get rid of De Flores and Alonzo at the same time. Beatrice exits, Alonzo enters. Alonzo asks De Flores for a tour of the castle. De Flores says he will show him around after dinner. He hides a sword in his cloak.

A narrow passage / A vault As they descend, De Flores advises that the space is very narrow so Alonzo should find it easir to walk if he leaves his sword behind. Alonzo is instructed to stare out of the window, while De Flores stabs him three times. De Flores sees a diamond ring on the finger of the dead Alonzo. He tries to remove the diamond ring and take it for himself but somehow he is unable to remove the ring from the dead Alonzo's finger. So he cuts off that finger and takes the entire finger with him. De Flores clears away the body.

Alibius’ madhouse Isabella asks Lollio why she has been locked up. Lollio claims it’s his master’s wish so that Isabella isn't able to venture out and be sexually active with other men. Isbaella complains that there are only madmen and fools in the mental asylum. But she says that she recently saw that a very good-looking patient was admitted and requests Lollio to bring that good-looking patient to him. Lollio shows in Franciscus. Isabella asks Lollio how Franciscus went mad. Lollio replies that it was because of spurned love. Isabella remarks that Franciscus looks like a gentleman going by how he speaks. Lollio whips Franciscus for insulting him and for making advances towards Isabella. They realise that Franciscus is not really a madman but only pretending to be one. Lollio puts Franciscus back in his cell. Lollio brings Antonio to meet Isabella. The madmen make noises, Lollio goes to beat them. As he leaves, Antonio reveals to Isabella that he is only a fake fool who had pretended to be a fool so as to be admitted into the asylum and gain access to Isabella. Antonio tries to undress himself and have sex with Isabella but Isabella is able to avoid it for the time being. Antonio cannot convince her to love him but she exposes his fraud. Lollio returns to ask Antonio some questions, then leaves again as the madmen start creating a lot of ruckus and Lollio has to manage both cells. Antonio kisses Isabella, Lollio spies on them. Madmen dressed as birds interrupt their encounter. Lollio again goes offstage to attend to these madmen. He comes back to return Antonio to his cell.Isabella remarks that one need not go out of the house to seek sexual escapades. Lollio then challenges Isabella about Antonio, tries to sexually molest Isabella in return for keeping it a secret. Alibius enters, oblivious. Alibius tells them that their Vermandero has invited him to make his patients perform (as just mad people) at Beatrice’s wedding.

A chamber in the castle Vermandero, Beatrice, Jasperino and Alsemero enter; only Vermandero does not know about Beatrice and Alsemero. They all leave to look around the castle, except Beatrice. Beatrice says that she’s starting to convince her father to like Alsemero. De Flores enters with the intention of having sex with Beatrice, thinking this is what she wants too. He tells Beatrice that "Piracquo is no more" and then shows her the finger with the diamond ring. Beatrice says it was the first token that Vermandero made her send to Alonzo. Beatrice asks De Flores to take the ring as it is worth three hundred ductas, then on seeing the fact that De Flores is disappointed, offers another three thousand florins. De Flores is disgusted at the idea of murdering for money, he murdered for the reward of having sex with Beatrice. Beatrice offers to double the amount and is confused about why De Flores will not leave contented with money assumes that the amount he wants is much too high to actually announce out loud and suggests that he goes out of the country (as she had told him earlier) and send her the amount he wants on paper. He replies that if he leaves, she must too, since they are bound together in guilt. De Flores kisses her in a last ditch attempt to seal their love, but Beatrice reacts with disgust. De Flores explains in meticulous detail exactly why she has to submit to him, mainly that he can now effectively blackmail her or else he will inform everyone how she hired him to murder Alonzo. He says that his life is worth nothing if he can not have her, and therefore is willing to incriminate himself if she does not sleep with him. She tries to impress on him the difference in their social class, but he claims that her evil act has made them equals. She makes one last effort to offer him all her gold, but again he refuses. She eventually releases the vicious cycle of sin that she has entered.

Beatrice has yielded to De Flores's sexual demands, and has also married Alsemero. Alone in the afternoon in Alsemero's room, she feels too ashamed to have sex with her new husband Alsemero on their wedding night. In Alsemero's closet, she finds lots of medicines. One of them is a pregnancy test kit and another a virginity test kit. Diaphanta enters, looking for Alsemero. Beatrice tells Diaphanta that she will offer 1000 ducats to any virgin if she secretly has sex with her husband Alsemero, instead of her, on their wedding night. But to test whether Diaphanta is a virgin or not, both of them take the virginity test. The virginity test shows that Beatrice is not a virgin whereas Diaphanta is, as she has exhibited the usual symptoms of first gaping, then sneezing, and finally laughing. Beatrice arranges for her to go to Alsemero's bed that night, in the pitch darkness, and pretend to be Beatrice.

Vermandero finds that two of his gentlemen, Antonio and Franciscus have left the castle, causing him to assume that they murdered Alonzo. Vermandero issues arrest-warrants for them since he belives they murdered Alonzo and fled. Tomazo enters, accusing Vermandero of killing his brother. Vermandero pretends that Alonzo has just run away and it is he, Vermandero, who should actually be offended that his to-be son-in-law has run away at the last moment. Vermandero says Tomazo should leave too, as he is the brother of an ignoble coward like Alonzo. Vermandero exits. De Flores enters, Tomazo greets him warmly remembering that his brother Alonzo was fond of De Flores. Tomazo even goes on to say that whereas Vermandero is untrustworthy, De Flores is a trustworthy gentleman. All this talk reminds De Flores of Alonzo. De Flores exits. Alsemero enters; Tomazo is hostile towards him. Tomazo challenges Alsemero to a duel after the wedding. Tomazo exits, Jasperino runs in. Jasperino tells Alsemero that he heard Beatrice and De Flores having conversation similar to that lovers have. Alsemero instructs Jasperino to go and get the virginity test. Beatrice enters just before Jasperino returns. Alsemero figures out that Beatrice is looks different and she must have been abused. Alsemero gives Beatrice the potion, she drinks it, then fakes the symptoms thereby "proving" to Alsemero and Jasperino that she is a virgin.

Lollio and Isabella read a letter in which Franciscus declares that is only pretending to be a madman to gain access to Isabella and that he is in love with her. Lollio says that if Isabella has sex with Franciscus, then he wants to have sex with her too. Isabella says that if she indeed does commit adultery, Lollio will be the first person with whom she will have sex. Isabella decides to dress as a madwoman and goes to do so. Alibius arrives and asks about the wedding. Alibius then asks how Isabella is getting on, then exits. Antonio enters, and Lollio forces him to dance. Lollio exits, and Isabella enters in her new clothes as a madwoman. Isabella attempts to kiss him but Antonio resists, unable to recognise Isabella and disgusted at the idea of being kissed by a madwoman. Antonio confesses that he is no fool but just a gentleman pretending to be a fool. Isabella is hurt that Antonio is not actually in love with her but rather with her external appearance. Isabella exits disappointed, Lollio comes back to talk to Antonio. Lollio tells him that if he kills Franciscus, he can have sex with Issbella. Franciscus enters, Lollio reads the letter he wrote to Isabella. Lollio tells him that if he kills Antonio, Isabella will have sex with him. Alibius enters, and Lollio goes to fetch the madmen. All the madmen dance for the wedding.

It is two o' clock in the morning and Diaphanta has not yet come out of Alsemero's chamber though Beatrice sent her in only to have sex. Beatrice suspects that Diaphanta is actually enjoying having sex with Alsemero and that Diaphanta told Alsemero that Beatrice is not a virgin. This leads to Beatrice getting very angry with Diaphanta. De Flores enters. Beatrice is worried that if Diaphanta does not come out before daybreak, Alsemero will be able to see with whom he has had sex and will recognise his mistake and Beatrice's plot will be ruined. De Flores come up with an idea to get Diaphanta out of the room. He says that he will set Diaphanta's chambers on fire and that will wake up the entire house and when Diaphanta returns to her room then De Flores will pretend that he will clean the chimney with a gun but he will kill her with it. Beatrice agrees, even suggesting that she now loves De Flores. Alonzo’s ghost appears and haunts De Flores and Beatrice. De Flores lights the fire, offstage, then leads the group of residents who attempt to douse it. Diaphanta appears, Beatrice tells her to return to her chamber. Vermandero enters, followed by Alsemero and Jasperino. The gunshot is heard, signifying Diaphanta’s murder. De Flores returns to the stage, heroically carrying Diaphanta’s burnt body from the fire. De Flores is promised financial reward by Vermandero and others for his bravery in alerting everyone to the fire and thereby preventing further damage.

Tomazo, in a sudden fit of misanthropy, elects to blame the next person he sees for the death of his brother. De Flores enters. Tomazo becomes enraged. He re-iterates Beatrice's earlier misgivings about using something that has also been used by De Flores. He says that if his sword were to touch De Flores once, he would not use that sword again. Tomazo strikes him. De Flores draws his sword as though to retaliate, but is forcibly reminded of Alonzo's murder, and cannot bring himself to strike. De Flores is unnerved by Tomazo's sudden, intuitive hostility, and leaves hastily. Albius and Isabella enter with Vermandero. Tomazo tells them to go away. Vermandero inform Tomazo that he has found Alonzo's murderers -- Antonio and Franciscus, who were hiding in a mental asylum after committing the murder.

Jasperino and Alsemero have seen Beatrice and De Flores together in a garden and are discussing it. Beatrice enters, Jasperino hides. Alsemero accuses Beatrice of being a liar and a whore, and suggests she’s been cheating on him with De Flores. She confesses that she employed De Flores to murder Alonzo, but explains that she did it out of love for Alsemero, because her first motive was to remove Alonzo so that she and Alsemero could be together. Alsemero says he must think about what to do, and locks Beatrice in a closet to wait. De Flores enters, Alsemero gets him to admit murder. De Flores, under the impression that Beatrice is attempting to betray and out-manoeuvre him, exposes her infidelity. Alsemero confines him in the closet with Beatrice, and wants them to repeat their sin of adultery over and over again. Vermandero, Alibius, Isabella, Tomazo and Franciscus enter, thinking they have solved the case of Alonzo's murder. Alsemero also claims he has solved Alonzo's murder. As Alsemero begins to reveal the truth, screams of pleasure and of pain are heard within the room, and the pair comes out, Beatrice stabbed by De Flores. Beatrice confesses her fallen state and also that she sent Diaphanta in her place to the bedroom to have sex with Alsemero. De Flores admits to killing Alonzo, stabs himself and dies before Tomazo can seek revenge. With his last words, De Flores instructs Beatrice to follow him in death, and as she dies, Beatrice asks Alsemero for forgiveness. They speak about changes and changelings. Alsemero says Betarice was beauty changed to whoredom, he himself a supposed husband changed embraces with wantonness. Antonio says he was changed from a little ass to a great fool and was almost changed to be hanged at the gallows. Franciscus says he was changed from a little wit to stark mad. Alibius says he realises his folly and will change himself and never keep fake patients.

A mere eight lines in which Alsemero explains that it is impossible to comfort someone after they have lost a person close to them. The only solution is for that person to be replaced.

In 1974 as part of Play of the Month, the BBC broadcast a production directed by Anthony Page and starring Helen Mirren as Beatrice-Joanna, Brian Cox as Alsemero, Stanley Baker as De Flores, Tony Selby as Jasperino and Susan Penhaligon as Isabella.

In 1994, a version directed by Simon Curtis removing the madhouse subplot was broadcast by the BBC starring Elizabeth McGovern as Beatrice-Joanna, Bob Hoskins as De Flores, Hugh Grant as Alsemero and Sean Pertwee as Tomazo. It was broadcast in the United States on the BRAVO cable television network.

A 1998 film version directed by Marcus Thompson starred Guy Williams as Alonso, Amanda Ray-King as Beatrice-Joanna, Ian Dury as De Flores and Colm O'Maonlai as Alsemero.

Notable stage performances have included the 1988 National Theatre production starring Miranda Richardson as Beatrice-Joanna and George Harris as De Flores.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia