“Changeling,” “Wrestler”: My Views

This week I saw “Changeling,” directed by Clint Eastwood, and “The Wrestler,” directed by Darren Aronofsky, at New York Film Festival press screenings. Both pictures will be serious Oscar contenders, with their respective stars, Angelina Jolie and Mickey Rourke, sure to get nominations. (It’s very difficult right now to see how Rourke will be beaten, since both his character in the movie and his career through this performance represent Hollywood’s favorite phenomenon: the comeback.) That said, I have to say that I didn’t cartwheel for either film. “Changeling,” about the disappearance of a boy in 1928 Los Angeles, is beautifully made, but that’s its problem: I was always very aware that I was watching a movie rather than something real-seeming. In contrast, “The Wrestler” has a wonderful reality to it, and Rourke, as the washed-up in-the-ring showman, and Marisa Tomei, as a nipples-pierced stripper, spare themselves nothing. But the script too often descended into cliche. And anyone who gets dizzy due to hand-held camera work should stay far far away.

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