aerI count myself as a strident Aaron Eckhart partisan, and I wince when I look back at some of the roles he has taken in recent years. Suspect Zero alone is enough to give you the stigmata. In fact, a look at his CV (how British of me!) reveals that the guy hasn’t been in anything I actually LIKED since Nurse Betty, and that was back when we all thought maybe Chris Rock could have a movie career.

Now he’s signed on to two new indie films, at least one of which gets me really excited. Let’s start with the other one: in Conversations With Other Women, Eckhart plays the divorced husband of Helena Bonham Carter. After many years apart they meet again at a party. OK, that could go either way.

The other, though, sounds great. It’s based on Christopher Buckley’s satirical novel Thank You For Smoking, and will star Eckahrt as a completely awful tobacco industry PR guy. I haven’t read the book yet – it’s in the endless pile of "To Read" – but I hear that it’s superb, and that it’s dark as hell. Let’s hope the movie lets Eckahrt channel a little of that In the Company of Men magic.