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Matt Damon News Column
  • The Good Shepherd has now made over $50 million at the US box-office, and has yet to open internationally. For a nearly three-hour drama that cost about $85 million, it's done very well. The Universal 'For your consideration' site now promotes that the film appeared on over 25 year end '10 best' lists, and cinematographer Robert Richardson was nominated by the American Society of Cinematographers in their annual awards.

    Matt was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as their 'For your consideration' nomination for Best Actor, outside of the five expected nominations (via Oscar Watch).

  • Moriarty favourably reviewed The Good Shepherd in his latest article at Aint-it-cool-news, including:

    I’m not really sure what I expected from the other “good” film this Christmas, but THE GOOD SHEPHERD sort of knocked me out. As a friend of mine put it, "I went in expecting a procedural thriller, and instead I got an opera." Robert De Niro, working from a dense and brilliant screenplay by Eric Roth, has created a doomed snapshot of the history of covert intelligence in America. I am fascinated by this period of history and by the largely-invisible men who made up these secret armies. Matt Damon may be the single best actor working right now at playing mysterious blanks. Even when he does nothing, he suggests an inner life that keeps these characters from vanishing off the screen entirely.

    If you have no interest at all in recent American history, the film might bore you, and if you aren’t interested in watching a film where you can legitimately wonder if some of the dialogue is meant to be code or just a sign of emotional atrophy, then this isn’t for you. But I found the entire thing exhilarating, and especially when it began to pay off the long slow burn. The last half-hour was a series of moments where I felt blind-sided, one emotional crescendo after another, and by the end, I was worn out. Robert Richardson’s photography is magnificent here, and the score by Bruce Fowler and Marcelo Zarvos lends a quiet paranoid edge to the proceedings. It’s a powerful adult meditation on the sins we’ve committed as a country, and the personal price so many have had to pay for what we view as freedom. I loved it. Every complicated second of it.

  • A quote from actor Donnie Wahlberg to the Boston Herald.

    But Wahlberg said he’s content to be patient and wait for his big break.

    "Matt Damon is someone whom I respect tremendously, but his career wasn’t moving along at a great clip at one point and then he did ‘The Bourne Identity’ and everything changed for him again. To me, he deserves tremendous success because he’s great. But it took a movie that might have been a risk for him and his ‘taste’ - an action film - to reinvigorate his career."
  • 7 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 14th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Here I can finally say that I think Matt should stop making movies for Universal. They have jerked him around entirely too much these last few years. TBI was a hit, not a peep from Universal. TBS was an even bigger hit, still nothing. They rushed that the movie be made, and when it made $54 million dollars on it's first weekend, and $100 million in 11 days, the sound of crickets from Universal was deafening. Now they're doing a "for your consideration" campaign for TGS because it's made $50 million (And I'm glad they revised that budget. I never believed that $190 million figure.)? I'm sorry, but it's too little too late, isn't it Universal? Where was your push in December, when it counted? This stuff just annoys me to no end. DiCaprio can take a dump and be nominated for an award, Matt acts his backside off in a movie that DiCaprio never would have been able to pull off, and you know I'm right, and he gets nothing. A "write-in candidate"!?! How totally insulting. It just makes me want to scream. Gah!

    JJ--feeling better now
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 15th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
    Universal has done a 'FYC' ad campaign since early December, but it hasn't really been targeted. Their ads on the Variety and Hollywood Reporter site don't nominate individuals, but some print ones have.

    The other figure floated for Shepherd was $110 million when DiCaprio was involved, but it is apparently $90 million or less when revised to include Matt's reduced salary.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 14th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Matt As Wilson

    I share JJ's outrage. I must say, though, that the reviews Matt has been getting from really knowledgeable people bodes well for the future. I don't know if it was posted on this site, but David Denby--a really prestigious critic for The New Yorker, compared Matt's performance to Al Pacino's in "Godfather II". Here's a brief excerpt:

    " 'The Good Shepherd' has a reticent beauty (the colors are subdued and blended) and a somber exactitude that gives way, now and then, to episodes of anguished emotion. Like Al Pacino in 'The Godfather II,' Matt Damon recedes further and further into himself; his Wilson is as much a victim as a hero, a man who can't, or won't, protect those closest to him."
    THE NEW YORKER--12/25/2006

    This is no idle comparison. Denby's reviews are aways layered with meaning. Denby knows that Pacino was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal, and he knows Pacino won the BAFTA for leading actor for that role. The comparison is a huge compliment. The rest of the review is very insightful and appreciative as well.

    Just trying to spread a little cheer out there!

    Island Boy
    From: jeff_in_utah Date: January 15th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Matt As Wilson

    "Just trying to spread a little cheer out there!"

    And it worked, Island Boy -- thanks! :-)

    - Jeff in Salt Lake City
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 15th, 2007 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Matt As Wilson

    I linked to the New Yorker review on 11 December, but didn't quote from it.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 15th, 2007 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)


    Here's the scan of the EW article with some extra text, as mentioned in the update.

    from http://sammie323.blogspot.com/

    FYC: Matt Damon

    Cold. Emotionless. Monotone. Not the hallmarks of your typical Oscar-winning performance. Yet it's precisely that stoicism that makes Matt Damon's turn in TGS so absorbing. Damon plays Edward Wilson, an American spy though whom we witness the birth of the CIA. Wilson proves to be fascinating but unknowable, even as the secrets of a nation - and a cryptic heart - flicker across his face.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 15th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: EW

    There are only a handful of actors that could of played Wilson in TGS: Matt Damon and Edward Norton come to mind. The rest overact and "Tom Cruise" it. Interestingly, Edward Norton is possibly the most gifted actor of his contemporaries but does not seem to want to attain the movie star status. He is similar to Matt Damon in wanting to stay under the radar.
    7 comments or Leave a comment