Clint Eastwood’s Changeling screened well Tuesday, although the press conference was slightly muted, partly because so many of the world press had already interviewed Angelina Jolie for Kung Fu Panda. Here’s Todd McCarthy’s review, which hit the web within minutes of the end of the press screening, because Todd saw the film in L.A. and prepared the review in advance. And here’s Kenneth Turan’s LAT feature. Here’s a collection of reviews.
UPDATE: And my red carpet commentary with IFC’s Matt Singer:
It was wall-to-wall critics at the official black tie dinner at the Palme d’Or, with round tables and name cards; each table was named after one of Eastwood’s movies. Rebounding from his last Cannes experience with the nastily reviewed The Da Vinci Code, producer Brian Grazer, who had the sense to send the Changeling script based on a real 1928 story to Eastwood, admitted that there were several points-of-view on the film’s title. Basically, when Changeling was translated into French as “L’Echange,” many folks liked The Exchange better. Eastwood was noncommital at the press conference. But Grazer thinks it will stay Changeling in the U.S.
Universal brass Ron Meyer, David Linde, James Schamus and Donna Langley joined a bevy of les meilleurs critiques du monde. Eastwood sat with wife Dina Ruiz, fest topper Thierry Fremaux, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who feels strongly that movies should be allowed to run at whatever their best length, whether it’s Changeling or The Assassination of Jesse James, which he insists made no sense when it was cut down.
Eastwood’s long-time editor Joel Cox said Eastwood has one of his great roles in his next, Gran Torino, as a curmudgeonly Korean War veteran who gets to know his neighbors. “One last time,” added Eastwood, who says he’s easing out of acting roles, and certainly won’t play Dirty Harry again, despite rumors to the contrary. “Dirty Harry would not be in the police department at my age,” he said at the press conference earlier in the day. Eastwood admitted that “The Man with No Name” was a marketing ploy when he was a no name himself, he said. “It all worked out.”
Mystic River stars Tim Robbins and Sean Penn showed their support, while Zhang Ziyi was pushing a charity effort on behalf of China‚Äôs earthquake victims. Also on hand were Eastwood’s kids Kyle and Alison, who’s waiting on a script for a new movie. A chip off the old block.