I finally scrounged up enough time to go see Clint Eastwood's Changeling last week. I figured it will be out of theaters soon and I would miss it if I didn't go soon.
Changeling is not without its problems. The lead character lacks a strong narrative arc and the plot occasionally follows various subplots that feel out of place and ill-motivated. Still, the subplots converge well enough, and each has an emotional payoff. The movie is never boring and it's filled with a bevy of intriguing villains and seedy elements as well as a noble heroine.
As far as Oscar, I think the film is not really going to catch hold. I love Angelina Jolie, but I don't think the Academy is really on the bandwagon. She was fantastic in last year's A Mighty Heart, had tons of early buzz, and still didn't get a nomination. And, as the title of this post hints, Eastwood has another movie coming out this season (Gran Torino) that is also getting very good reviews. Changeling, therefore, may only end up getting some below-the-line buzz (costumes, cinematography, art direction, screenplay) and may not even get those.
Still, this is quality filmmaking, and I found the film emotionally satisfying, well directed and intelligent.