Damon delivers impressively as well. Thesp's receding boyish qualities merge well with the role, just as a hint of his Jason Bourne hardness adds the necessary ruthless edge to the repellently interesting character.
Supporting cast is sparkling down the line, led by Wahlberg, who steals every base on the field and takes them home. Boston boys Damon and Wahlberg set the bar with their accents, while some of the interlopers, notably Nicholson, are in and out.
Costello is a familiar piece of acting from Nicholson -- part demented caricature, part tongue-in-cheek flamboyance. But the actors surrounding Nicholson rise to the occasion so that he neither dominates the movie nor wastes away in buffoonery.
Damon is a walking contradiction: He looks and acts more like a cop than anyone else in the movie, yet he's a phony. Damon doesn't let us inside his character the way DiCaprio does; instead his Colin buries emotions in a place he discovered so many years ago in Frank's service.
Meanwhile [Jack] Nicholson was enjoying dozens of phone calls from those of us who loved "The Departed" and were delighted by his non-stop tour de force performance. But he tossed the bouquets to Martin Scorsese. "We both love movies," he enthused, while also toasting the rest of the cast and saying younger players Leonardo Di Caprio and Matt Damon have made "great ad-vancements."
"It was amazing to get Matt in this film. He was so perfect for the role because he is such a nice guy. He plays someone in this who you really like – Matt has that Mr America look, Mr Goodie-two-shoes kinda thing – but then you start to see the real Colin, and then by the end of the movie you just despise this guy. The audience will think, 'This is not the Matt Damon we’re used to seeing.'"
[A separate quote from Matt in the article]
Matt: "Marty’s directing a beautiful movie. And Jack has always been a hero of mine. If I screw this up, it's the end."
The guys all had thick South Boston accents in this film, which I figured came easily to Wahlberg and Damon — the film’s two Boston natives. But Alec Baldwin begged to differ with me.
"The guys who were from Boston did the worst accents in the film. Did you notice that?"
"Can you see Matt over there?" asked Baldwin, pointing to his costar a few feet down the red carpet. "He did the worst Boston accent of everyone. And Wahlberg’s was pretty bad, too. Jack’s from New Jersey and I’m from Long Island and our accents were better than Wahlberg’s and Matt’s."
A few minutes later, I told Matt what Alec had said, and he let out a big laugh before declaring, "The film speaks for itself…. Alec’s funny, I love Alec."