In addition to directing many of his own star vehicles, Eastwood has also directed films in which he did not appear, such as the mystery drama Mystic River (2003) and the war film Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), for which he received Academy Award nominations, and the drama Changeling(2008). The war drama biopic American Sniper (2014) set box office records for the biggest January release ever and was also the biggest opening ever for an Eastwood film. He received considerable critical praise in France for several films including some which were not well received in the United States. He has been awarded two of France's highest honors: in 1994 he became a recipient of the Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2007 he was awarded the Légion d'honneur medal. In 2000, he was awarded the Italian Venice Film FestivalGolden Lion for lifetime achievement.
Since 1967, Eastwood has run his own production company, Malpaso, which has produced all except four of his American films. He served as the nonpartisan mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California from 1986 to 1988.