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Matt Damon News Column
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Nominations count: Departed 5, The Good Shepherd 1
  • Matt did not receive an Academy Award nomination for The Good Shepherd or The Departed. An excerpt from the commentary at EW's Popwatch on the year's biggest snubs:

    My colleague Joshua Rich, meanwhile, just sent me an email about the snub that really got to him. He writes, "I know he was a long shot, but I'm still pretty peeved that Matt Damon wasn't nominated for acting in either The Good Shepherd or The Departed. I mean, for my money, he was the real Best Actor of 2006, giving smart, understated performances in which it's hard to even tell that he's acting. And I've always said that that's the hardest thing for an actor to do -- play a 'normal' guy. Neither his CIA spook in The Good Shepherd nor his undercover mobster in The Departed had any kind of obvious physical or mental quirk that usually draws Academy attention. But, I ask: Isn't it easier to limp or act crazy than to just seamlessly disappear into a character for whom the drama is taking place somewhere deep inside? Even more than that, I'll state it simply: Time and again, movie after movie, Damon has proved himself to be one of the best actors working today, and he deserves more recognition."

  • And comments by Kevin Smith to the LA Times:

    Kevin [Smith] talked about his pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck at last night's premiere after-party at Les Deux for his new romantic comedy, "Catch and Release."

    "I’m already a bit steamy that nobody’s given any love to what I thought was the best performance of the year – Matt Damon in "The Departed," Smith said. "He was an amazing, complex, villainous, amoral character but all the groups have overlooked him. I think that's a crime. He was a genius."

  • The Good Shepherd was nominated for Best Art Direction, and The Departed received nominations for Best Picture, Director, Best Supporting Actor for Mark Wahlberg (give it to the guy who didn't even attend the press conference for the film), Editing, and Adapted Screenplay. Paul Greengrass received a nomination for Best Director (United 93).
  • 17 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
    My jaw is on the floor - WALHBERG for best supporting? Did any of the folks nominating actually SEE the film? Did I see a different film?

    ~Maureen~
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 23rd, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I've just accepted that Wahlberg got the glory for showboating and swearing, not acting.

    I'm thrilled that Dreamgirls didn't get nominated for Best Picture - thought it was dreadful, and the audience I saw it with (in Australia) was laughing at the horrendous overacting and songs. Horrible, horrible movie. Can't believe there's any praise for Jennifer Hudson at all (I thought her singing and acting was almost a spoof at a real performance - wished there was a mute button at the cinema).

    Very happy at the nomination for Greengrass, but United 93 didn't get a nom for Best Picture.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
    I also was happy that Dreamgirls did not get nominated for Best Picture. I did not think that it was dreadful but definitely not one of the Top 5 movies of 2006. I can imagine that people in Australia were laughing at it. Where I live in the US, they were standing and cheering.(Not me) I don't really mind that Jennifer Hudson was nominated but I do not think that she deserves to win over Adrianna Barraza or Rinko Kikuchi. And probably not over Cate Blanchett either but I haven't seen Notes on a Scandal yet. Tried to see it Sunday but the show was sold out.
    azewewish From: azewewish Date: January 23rd, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Mark completely deserved his nomination, and the fact that he didn't do press for it has nothing to do with the work he put into the role or the job he did.

    However, that being said, it really IS a shame that Matt didn't get a nod for The Good Shephard. That was the best performance I've ever seen Matt give.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 23rd, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I'm not saying the press involvement had anything to do with it.

    I just don't think there was any acting required by Wahlberg in his part. He shouted profanities, was arrogant and unlikeable. He's the comic relief in a role that required no talent whatsoever. So people liked him - how does that justify a nomination?
    azewewish From: azewewish Date: January 23rd, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. Plenty of people thought differently, however, and thought he did a fine job with the acting.

    Matt's character was also arrogant and unlikeable in 'The Departed', so I'm not sure how that's a requirement for either an Oscar or awards recognition.

    Again, I'm not saying that Matt didn't do a fine job; just that the Academy could have picked any of the roles - Matt's, Leo's, Alec's, Jack's and Mark's, and made a really good case for each of them.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 23rd, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I was just intimating that Mark was playing himself.
    azewewish From: azewewish Date: January 23rd, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Well, I'll agree with you that Mark swears a lot, but all of the interviews I've ever seen him give in the past 7 or 8 years, he's been very nice and likeable and humble. *shrugs* Again, to each his own opinion.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 23rd, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Oh yes, Mark's worked very hard on his image.

    But he's the one with the nomination, so good for him. And he was the only actor to comment on Matt's lack of GG nomination to the press.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
    boy was matt snubbed big time, he deserved a best actor nom. for the good shepherd or at least supporting for the departed. how ridiculous. it was one of his best years ever in movies. and i dont know how mark wahlberg got nominated over Matt, Leo, or Jack for supporting, i am just shocked.

    -Jess
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Poor Matt, he was amazing in both films. He'll get one one day though.
    From: sunnysanstar Date: January 23rd, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I hate to beat a dead horse here, but Matt doesn't get a nom, Ben doesn't get a nom, but *#$&in Marky-Mark does!? Is this the Twilight Zone? I'm just waiting for Rod Serling to come out and tell me that nothing this bizarre would ever really happen...not in the real world. *sigh* And so it goes on that I continue to lose all respect for the academy.

    BTW, I said I was going to do a vote of protest if SAG sent me a ballot for this year's awards, and I did. I left their version of the Best Supporting Actor award blank. This was, all in all, a bad year for film, and frankly I didn't feel very passionate about anything on the ballot...but when two of the best performances of the year are ignored, that's something I can't ignore.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
    Agree 100%. This is very surreal. Walhberg stood and swore in TD; I didn't see a shred of acting.

    I loved TD but thought Walhberg a very weak link in it.

    ~Maureen~
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
    I think that Mark deserved his nomination. He definitely deserved it over Jack. I really find it hard to believe that neither Matt or Leo were nominated as lead actor. All the great acting in that movie and only one acting nomination. I thought that it would get at least 2 and maybe 3 nominations for acting. Really, really surprising.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2007 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
    My feeling is that Mark did not get nominated 'over' Jack, Matt and Leo. The three of them were the leading actors in the movie and not really supporting - perhaps a case can be made for Jack as supporting - but certainly not Matt or Leo. I don't think Mark really did enough for a nomination - he was so much better in Huckabees. People never seem to get nominated for the right things - Scorsese may win for best director, but Departed is not his best film in my opinion. And why am I secretly pleased that Ben was not nominated for Hollywoodland. Jan
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 25th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)

    Matt Damon snub

    It's hard to believe that the Academy nominated Mark Wahlberg for his part in "The Departed" which consisted of "repetititive profanity delivered by an angry guy with a Boston accent" -- as if it were an acting audition. I didn't see any real "acting" on Wahlberg's part. With Damon, the acting was so flawless as to be transparent. He waltzed into the role and danced away with the Best Performance in 'The Departed.' Damon's performance was everything you said it was and more -- his great Boston/police accent and the false bravado shown by his character in "The Departed" struck just the right notes. So why the snub of the far, far, far and away better actor (Damon) in favor of the guy who phoned it in (Wahlberg)?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 25th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Matt Damon snub

    It's been debated many times here but we've all got no answers.
    17 comments or Leave a comment