December 7th, 2006

Departed prem Lucy Matt

Questions for Matt?

  • Do you have any questions for Matt? USA Today has requested questions from readers before they interview Matt during the press junket for The Good Shepherd on Friday - details here

    It's been a big year for Matt Damon. He played a crooked cop in the hit The Departed, and in The Good Shepherd, he's a CIA agent and Angelina Jolie's husband. Next year, he returns to the big screen with costars George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean's Thirteen.

    And, Damon has been just as busy in his personal life. He got married a year ago to Luciana Bozan and in June, she gave birth to their daughter, Isabella.

    What do you want to ask him? Send your questions to, and we'll pose them to the Oscar winner when we talk to him on Friday.

  • Roger Friedman of Fox News discusses The Good Shepherd here.

    Don’t blame Robert De Niro if you don’t understand all the twists and turns in "The Good Shepherd." He didn’t write it, he just directed it. Eric Roth, author of the "Forrest Gump" screenplay, is the culprit.

    De Niro does a fine job exploring the beginnings of the CIA with Matt Damon as his hero. De Niro only has one other directing credit — "A Bronx Tale" — but he brings out terrific performances from Alec Baldwin, Tammy Blanchard, John Turturro, William Hurt and even Angelina Jolie, even though the latter has developed some tics since winning a supporting Oscar a few years ago for "Girl, Interrupted."

    More importantly, De Niro brings Joe Pesci back to film after an almost 8-year absence. Pesci told me last spring he just lost interest in making movies.

    But De Niro gives him a tasty little turn in "Good Shepherd," in which the "Goodfellas" star winds up in the best dialogue exchange of the entire film with Damon. In this day of Mel Gibson and racial name-calling, the conversation they have really hits home.

    "The Good Shepherd," in fact, is exceptionally well-cast. It’s like an old-fashioned New York movie, with loads of little parts for established actors.

    Timothy Hutton makes a cameo at the beginning, for example, and there are plenty of familiar faces — character actors — taking small roles. Casting directors Amanda Mackey-Johnson and Cathy Sandrich did a great job populating De Niro’s world for him.

    I don’t know how much of a hit "The Good Shepherd" will be, however. It’s nearly three hours long, and there are a lot of plotlines. Sometimes De Niro seems like he’s going for his own version of "The Godfather," with a grand epic sweep.

    Fortunately, Damon is always interesting. As with "The Bourne Identity," he really carries the film from beginning to end. It doesn’t hurt that the cinematography is spectacular, and that every frame of "The Good Shepherd" looks sumptuous.

  • The Departed is included in the year's ten best list from the National Board of Review, with Martin Scorsese also named Best Director. The Departed also was named as having the best ensemble cast.