Oh dear. Just as Les Intouchables had restored faith in human nature yesterday evening, so Clint Eastwood’s 2008 Changeling comes along this evening and sends us back to square one. And, like Les Intouchables, the basic story line of Changeling is derived from a true story. A single mother’s son disappears. He is found. The police return him to his mother, but the mother insists the found boy is not her own. Angelina Jolie turns in a very powerful performance as the mother and, as in Mystic River, Eastwood lets the ghastly story tell itself at its own bitter-sweet pace. I suppose I am giving away things just a little if I say that there are modern-day echoes in the Madeleine McCann and Frederick West affairs. Indeed, if you subtract out the (LA) police corruption (1920s) from the story, you are left with a series of people struggling to believe the scarcely believable. Eastwood’s direction is good at putting this dilemma into relief. Who would you believe: an apparently hysterical grieving mother or an apparently stoical and rational police officer? It’s a cautionary tale. The scene where a perfectly sane woman who questions the police is consigned to an asylum powerfully reminded me of a frightening scene I witnessed in communist eastern Europe where the most powerful impulse was always to avoid running foul of a system that would stop at nothing because it could, if it wished, do anything it liked with impunity. The moral of the plot of Changeling is, contrary to Ockham’s razor, that if you know something is true you should stick to your guns. But human credulity undermines the plot and hence also the moral.