Changeling dir. by Clint Eastwood
It is 1920’s Los Angeles and single mother Christine Collins is trying to raise her boy. One Sat she is called in to work and when she returns home little Walter Collins is nowhere to be found. The police set about looking and eventually, after 5 months they bring him back. Only the boy they return to Christine is different; she is, however, informed that those changes are the result of her shock and the boys trauma. Why it is quite the done thing for a boy to shrink 4 inches as a result of such a horrifying encounter. And circumcised now you say? Well it is healthy, and who knows what that drifter may have been thinking. Ms. Collins is not about to rest however. She wants her boy back.
It is hard to know how to describe this film. It is more of a character study than a story. Of course there is some plot, an oilman and his desire to suceed, but the story isn’t too important. What is important is the character of Daniel Plainview, as played by Oscar winning Daniel Day-Lewis.
The opening scenes show just how driven Daniel is. We watch him, working on his own, in a mine. No dialogue at all for around 15 minutes, just this man in a hole, digging, dynamiting up the earth, falling down the hole, injured and yet still having the drive to pull himself out of that hole and struggle back into town to get his bit of dirt evaluated.
Hotel Rwanda dir. by Terry George
This is a film with impact.
The opening voice-over is a speech on the radio, an anti-tutsi speech, broadcast on Hutu Power radio, over a black screen so as to really let us hear the words. It describes the flaws, reveals the prejudices in Rwanda, tells the viewer of the cockroach infestation the Hutu people will have to wipe out. This is then contrasted by the opening scenes; In Kigali airport we see Paul (Cheadle) collecting fresh lobsters to serve in the hotel where he works as house manager. It shows a bustling, growing, on the up city. But on the way back to the hotel we are introduced to the undercurrent of tension that is played out so well throughout this film.