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Invictus reviews, various - Matt Damon News Column
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Invictus reviews, various
  • The first reviews for Invictus are available at Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post and Newsweek. At this time, Matt is strangely not scheduled to appear on any talk shows to promote the film.

    Variety
    With the exception of the meeting with Mandela and a couple of family scenes, most of Damon's screen time is spent in training or on the field, and it's meant as highest praise to say that, if he weren't a recognizable film star, you'd never think he were anything other than a South African rugby player. Beefed up a bit (or, perhaps more accurately, slimmed down somewhat from "The Informant!") and employing, at least to an outsider's ear, an impeccable accent, Damon blends in beautifully with his fellow players.

  • John Carlin, who wrote the book on which Invictus is based, spoke to the Cape Argus:

    Question: Have you been happy with the conversion of your book into a film thus far, through the filming, casting, etc?
    Carlin: Could not possibly be more happy. A fine, sensitive script, written by a South African. A magnificent director. The best possible Hollywood actors to play Mandela and Pienaar.

    Question: We've heard that the film-shooting process, not just the finished product, was a rich, authentic "1995" rugby environment. Were you happy with all the input?
    Carlin: The authenticity derived from the fact that the whole shoot was conducted in SA; 90 percent of the people working on the film production were South Africans.

    Question: Is it inevitable that accents and rugby screenplay will be particularly carefully scrutinised by local audiences, possibly detracting from the narrative?
    Carlin: South Africans obsess on this point, or, at any rate, white South Africans do, when one of their own is represented in a Hollywood movie. Matt Damon does a great job.

  • The group Overtone, who perform most of the tracks on the Invictus score, discussed their meeting with cast and crew in South Africa at The Carmel Pine Cone.

    Thus, on March 22, a Sunday afternoon, the small theater was packed with tired cast and crew — among them, several of the biggest movie stars in the world. The boys had cut their show in half for the special performance, deciding to go with only their best Queen hits, and they practiced them like crazy. It all paid off.

    "Everyone in the crowd loved our show," said Ernie Bates, a tenor and the group's production genius. "Especially Matt Damon. He was smiling all the time.

    After the concert, Damon was the first to ask for a CD, and he wouldn't take a free one. "He paid 100 rand (about $13), just like anybody," Bates marveled.

  • True Grit may be shooting near Austin, according to the Dallas News.

  • Matt discussed the financial problems which resulted in Torso not being made for the first time at the New Zealand Herald.

  • Photos of Matt on the set of The Adjustment Bureau last weekend and with Jon Voigt at the Children at Heart gala for victims of Chernobyl on Monday are at Socialite Life, PopSugar, Faded Youth blog, Fotoglif and this site. Lucy was scheduled to be honored with Matt at the gala, but did not attend.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • JJ Abrams discussed again his proposal to cast Matt in Star Trek at MTV.

    MTV: There was all this talk in terms of when you guys were starting to nail down casting. Everyone from Matt Damon to people we haven't heard of were in the running. How much of that was true? Did you ever consider going with a big name like Mr. Damon?

    Abrams: I did, but not for the role of James Kirk. I went to Damon for the role of Kirk's father, and he declined in the most gracious and understandable and logical of reasons. We lucked out with Chris Hemsworth, and he did a great job. Maybe it would have been distracting to have someone as massively famous as Matt Damon in that role. The decision was made very early on to have actors who were not necessarily the most famous but the most right for the role.

  • Scott Bakula discussed Matt's performance in The Informant at Moviehole. The movie finally opens in Australia and New Zealand next week.

    "In all seriousness, I think it's one of the great performances of the year", Bakula says of Damon's immersive turn as Whitacre. "And if you look at the other actors in his out range, I don't know anyone else that could've done what he did in this movie. He handled it so beautifully. He's such a great actor. We spent a lot of time together because there was, not a lot of improv, but a lot of exploring – trying to figure his character out."

  • Gary White discussed water.org and Matt in an interview at Waterworld.com.
  • 19 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    From: (Anonymous) Date: November 28th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks for the latest information. I was hoping to see Informant! this weekend, but still not well enough. The UK reviews I've seen have mostly been positive, especially of Matt's performance.

    He looks lovely in your pic, I love it when he dresses up. The Waterworld.com interview was really interesting too.

    I look forward to reading your own review of Informant! when you see it next week. Take care. Marcia
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: November 28th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
    The Informant did terribly in the UK - coming in 10th in its first weekend. Matt did pretty much no press in the UK except for some Venice interviews, and no new magazine interviews or covers. He didn't even attend the London Film Festival premiere (which then didn't get any coverage at all), and it was left to Soderbergh to do most of the press.

    I hope you're better soon Marcia.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: November 30th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

    The Informant! poor box office performance

    As well as the reasons you've given I think there were several more reasons why the movie has done so badly. First the movie itself; a story about someone most people have never heard of, and an unfamiliar industry.

    Almost no marketing whatsoever. No posters on the Tube or buses, very little TV or press coverage, there were no interviews with Matt in any of the major newspapers or magazines, just a cut and paste job in the Guardian, and an inaccurate report in the Telegraph.

    No awards buzz around it which might have turned on the art house crowd.

    An extremely limited release, with the movie showing only in central London or the West End. My local multiplexes don't have it, so we would have to drive or take the tube into London, and pay extortionate prices for our cinema tickets.

    I think Invictus will do better. The storyline is an important historical event, Nelson Mandela is a hugely popular icon, and Rugby is very popular.

    Thanks as always for the regular updates. I love your website. Marcia
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 1st, 2009 11:28 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Informant! poor box office performance

    Thanks Marcia, now it all makes more sense. We're getting the same treatment in Australia for The Informant - two days out from release I've yet to see a TV or cinema preview, or any ads in the print media. I don't know yet how widely the movie will be available.

    Invictus will also do well here too as rugby union is very popular (amongst the many football codes). Wonder what happened to the five country tour to promote the film that was discussed a few months ago...
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: November 28th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Invictus

    Here's an Invictus non-review from Glenn Kenny which mentions the performances. Kenny also put Invictus in his top 70 films of the decade:
    http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/some_came_running/2009/11/text-and-subtext-in-eastwoods-invictus.html

    We understand what Mandela has in mind, and part of the joy of the film is watching it come together. The subtext, which is not explicitly spelled out deals with exactly why Mandela chooses to embrace this rugby team that dresses itself in the colors of the apartheid flag. And that's dealt with quite beautifully and movingly by Eastwood and lead actors Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, both of whom are outstanding.

    Edited at 2009-11-28 08:48 pm (UTC)
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: November 29th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Matt and the Informant! were nominated for Golden Satellite awards. These awards are pretty much a joke, but still it's nice they gave him and the movie some love.

    http://www.pressacademy.com/satawards/awards2009.shtml

    btw they probably hadnt seen Invictus yet which is why it is not nominated for anything.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: November 30th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks for the post. A strange collection of nominations indeed, including two for Emily Blunt.

    Anne Thompson at Indiewire in a podcast called Matt in Invictus "as good as he could be" but says there's not enough there for a nomination. Hopefully the film will be recognised.

    ETA: The Golden Satellite crowd did see Invictus and Lovely Bones:
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/awards/news/e3idd5ada4db01fdbbf9ec7c24065dc9906

    Edited at 2009-11-30 01:26 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: November 29th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I want to see Lucy - why didn't see go to the gala ?
    Maybe another baby on the way.... I predict another girl....
    GO LUCY !
    I started out being a fan of Matt but now idolise Lucy see is a great person. She handles herself with decorum.... Matt is a lucky guy... and Lucy is a lucky gal.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: November 30th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
    Hopefully Lucy and Matt will attend the Invictus premiere in LA on Thursday.

    No sign yet of the Invictus press junket and Adjustment Bureau is still filming but must finish by mid-December.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: November 30th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)

    Invictus

    A good report on the making of Invictus by one of the rugby players in the South African team in the film:

    http://tonight.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=5265612&fSectionId=428&fSetId=251
    From: (Anonymous) Date: November 30th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Invictus

    Really enjoyed the Thomas Boyd article. It's good to get that perspective--from the bottom of the pile, so-to-speak, and it enriches the film for me. Whatever the reviews may say, I think Invictus will end up being regarded an important, if not classic film.

    I.B.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 28th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Invictus

    Glad you liked the article amigo - I wrote it! Thomas Boyd
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: November 30th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Greengrass out of Bourne 4! I dont see a new Bourne movie anytime soon, if at all.

    http://theplaylist.blogspot.com/2009/11/so-paul-greengrass-has-quit-bourne-4.html
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: November 30th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I don't think Matt has ever wanted to make it, but this adds an extra level of complexity. And if other upcoming films don't do well, will he return to the Bourne safety net, even without Paul?

    Matt was named the actor of the '00s at IFC:
    http://www.ifc.com/news/2009/11/naughts-actor.php
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 1st, 2009 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)
    I may be a false prophet, but I think it's all about The Green Zone. If TGZ crashes and doesn't make it's bloated budget (a good bet if it follows other Iraq war films), I predict Matt and Paul will be making Bourne 4. Maybe Matt can keep his status atop the A list even with a few more films that don't make what they call "real" money, but TGZ is a turning point. Matt will always be recognized as the great actor he is, but even Olivier couldn't make that much of a buck without a killer film. Ah, well. We can speculate, but only the film gods know. We'll find out soon enough.

    I.B.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 1st, 2009 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
    I know I'm in the minority here but I always liked the Bourne Identity best of the series and I am not at all impressed by Greengrass. Still, who would have expected him to act like such a prima donna after the opportunities and money he has been given by Universal.

    mj
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 1st, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Greengrass

    I know we've all moved on, but that's completely unfair. Universal made its own mess. The studio has been near chaos all year, and now it's pushing Matt and Paul to sign the dotted line (without a script) because it's trying to sell itself to Comcast for a higher price. I applaud Paul. Undoubtedly they offered him a lot of money.

    Paula

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 1st, 2009 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)

    Invictus events

    There's a Museum of the Moving Image tribute to Eastwood in New York on Tuesday night:
    http://movingimage.us/site/calendar/pages/2009/index_salute_to_clint_eastwood.html

    This report at Variety clarifies the event, and the Invictus screening:
    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118011858.html?categoryId=3824&cs=1

    TIP SHEET
    What: Museum of the Moving Image Salutes Clint Eastwood
    When: Tuesday Night
    Gala screening: "Invictus," Paris Theater, New York City, 6:30 p.m.
    Gala dinner: 583 Park Ave., New York City, following screening

    There may have been promotions for Invictus with Matt, Morgan and Clint in New York today (Monday). There was definitely a Washington Invictus premiere with Morgan on Monday.

    Edited at 2009-12-01 02:53 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Nelson Mandela

    Mandela the greatest leader in your lifetime???? Do you consider the atrocities of the Marxist ANC, and his failure to apologize? A great leader I think not.
    19 comments or Leave a comment