Just spoke to a British journalist who’s just come out of Clint Eastwood‘s The Exchange. “Absolutely first-rate,” he said. “It’s long” — 141 minutes — “but it’s very strong, very moving. There’s not a weak point in the entire film.” Like Mystic River before, which also dealt with a missing child and the violations that result, The Exchange is a genre piece — a kidnapping whodunit, set in 1928 — but, the journo said, Eastwood mines the material for a good deal of “complexity and emotional depth.”

Angelina Jolie, he emphasized, “is very, very good,” he said. Ditto John Malkovich as an activist minister who helps Jolie’s character, Christine Collins, uncover the truth of what’s really happened to her kidnapped son. J. Michael Straczynski‘s script hammers the old-time LAPD for the corruption that was rife in that period, but “its much more of woman’s film,” the Brit emphasized. “And much more than what the plot suggests.”
Eastwood “is amazing,” he said. “He just keeps getting and better the older he gets. What is he…close to 80 now? I think he might pull of a Best Director win next weekend.”