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