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Venice Film Festival, sightings
  • Photos of Matt at a press call for The Informant! at the Venice Film Festival are below, from Yahoo. Photos of Matt and Lucy in St Mark's Square, Venice, on Sunday night are at CelebMad, Just Jared, I'm Not Obsessed and Globo.com (below).

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  • New stills from The Informant! are at this site. The film will premiere in Venice tonight.

  • Two sightings of Matt in Los Angeles last week are from the New York Post and LA eater.com:

    Sighting: Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman at a back table in the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge being interviewed by Parade Editor-in-Chief Janice Kaplan.

    Wilshire. "Hey...I was at Wilshire in Santa Monica tonight for the Sunday BBQ (8/30) and Don Cheadle and Matt Damon were both there with their families in tow chowing down on the bbq offerings!"

  • From the fall movie preview at the Chicago Sun-Times by Cindy Perlman:

    Quick pointer: Damon, who lost weight years ago for "Courage Under Fire," now got to eat some burgers to pack on 30 pounds for the role of a Midwestern guy who likes a little fat around the middle. "It's so hard to lose, but amazing if you start drinking beer how quickly you can see that scale go up and your pants not fitting anymore," says Damon, who also loved to down McDonald's as a snack with a bag of Doritos. Hello, Oscar! Hello, Jenny Craig!

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  • Details of this OneXOne Toronto fundraiser from The Star. Matt will still be hosting the concert with Mary J Blige. The OneXOne website has also been updated with new content.

    Case in point: Last year Roick's company McNabb Roick & Associates threw the festival's most high-profile soiree. The One X One fundraiser for 800 guests used Maple Leaf Gardens as a dinner venue for the first time. Hosted by The Bourne Identity star Matt Damon, the event raised funds for children's charities.

    While a concert is still planned for the charity this year, the dinner portion is dramatically slimmed down to about 200 people with a cocktail party held in a private residence, Roick says.
  • 14 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 7th, 2009 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)

    Reviews

    The first reviews of The Informant! are in and, as usual, the reaction is quite mixed. Matt's performance is praised, but the movie is being seen as a little too quirky for mainstream audiences, and perhaps too smug for some critics.

    From Empire Online:
    http://www.empireonline.com/features/damonwise/Post.asp?id=676

    However, these quirky elements have already divided audiences here; and while the film played very well with the public, some of the critics haven't been so nice, labelling the film “smug” and “really kind of smarty-pants” (I'm not naming names!).

    Most people agree, though, that the film is very much a triumph for Matt Damon, who really excels in the role of Mark Whitacre, a biochemist working with a company that produces corn derivatives used by food manufacturers.

    Having said that, I'm not sure how Soderbergh's film will play with mainstream crowds, and Warner Bros face an uphill struggle to position the film: it's a comedy that's not that funny, and a drama that's not too serious. But if you follow the human pathos there, The Informant! emerges as a likeable, even moving film that just can't help but defy convention – much like the starry-eyed Whitacre himself.

    Screen Daily:
    http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/venice/the-informant/5005326.article

    The true story of Mark Whitacre, a top-level executive at an Illinois agriculture giant who turns whistle blower to the FBI over a global price-fixing scam, is turned into an uneven semi-comedy by Steven Soderbergh.

    Far more serious than either the broad trailer campaign or the exclamation mark in its title would indicate, the film can’t quite decide its tone, and a razzle-dazzle comedy score from Marvin Hamlisch – his first movie music since 1996 – doesn’t help settle the matter, especially since the best moments are intensely dramatic.

    Too clever by half for mainstream audiences, The Informant! will certainly do some business - and an energetic performance by Matt Damon as Whitacre can’t hurt its prospects – but it is unlikely to last throughout awards season after its US opening on Sept 18.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 7th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Slimmed down OneXOne Event

    Sad news about this event, but not surprising considering the recession.
    Nearly every charity is really suffering during this credit crunch and donations are sharply down for the majority, at a time when their services are needed more than ever. Wealthy donors are much harder to find compared to just 12 months.

    I work for a children's charity so our donations have held up pretty well, (it helps having Johnny Depp as a patron), even so, we have had to scale back on some of our fundraising objectives because the money just isn't there. But I'm sure that OneXOne private dinner will raise a lot of money.

    Lovely pics of Matt and Lucy in St Mark's Square in Venice, it looks really romantic (especially as they are surrounded by paparazzi). We haven't been there since 1986, but we loved it, even though it was eye-wateringly expensive! Keep up the good work! Marcia


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 7th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Slimmed down OneXOne Event

    Thanks for writing Marcia. Another charity that Matt supports, Sean McDonough's Foundation, decided not to have a fundraiser this year as they considered it inappropriate to ask for donations at this time.

    Love that sites call the photo a romantic boat ride - with security, Warner Brothers personnel and paparazzi in tow. But they both look really good.

    Adding new photos from the Informant photocall shortly.

    A good video interview with Informant writer Scott Z Burns is at YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-GxisZU0Rc

    This Italian review of The Informant! absolutely loved it:
    http://www.35mm.it/recensioni/the-informant-giuro-di-dire-la-verita-tutta-la-verita....html
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: September 7th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Guy Lodge from In Contention liked the movie and said this was the best performance of Matt career.

    http://incontention.com/?p=13195#more-13195
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 7th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Mixed reviews

    I know. He gave it 3 out of 4 stars and called it long, but loved Matt's performance. Don't know how this one's going to play commercially, but it will need support from some big critics - reviews from the trade papers will be out soon. And we know from the Empire review that some will hate it. Waiting for the premiere and more reviews (at 12.52am...)

    Interesting to reflect today that the last time Matt was at the Venice Film Festival he was with Heath Ledger to promote Brothers Grimm. Matt's never spoken about Heath's death.

    Quote from Soderbergh:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090907/ennew_afp/entertainmentfilmvenicedamon_20090907143530
    "When I read the book I thought of Matt because Whitacre had a very American, very optimistic attitude and he was obviously someone whom the people he worked with found very likeable," Soderbergh told reporters.

    I like the comment on this site:
    http://www.thelimegreenscream.com/celebritynews/matt-damon-denim-in-venice/

    Edited at 2009-09-07 02:58 pm (UTC)
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: September 7th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Mixed reviews

    I agree it's going to be one of those hard movies to sell, because it's a movie that you have to pay attention to while you are watching it, and sadly people hate those kinds of movies. People like to be spoon fed their movies nowadays. Ive read the script to the informant and it's a interesting read, but good, so I hope that they pull it off. Im looking forward to seeing it.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 7th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Mixed reviews

    Have you read the script for The Adjustment Bureau which is online (link at the IMDB page)? It must have changed a lot to the shooting script but it's a good read - fast paced and with good dialogue, but a wonky ending (to me).

    As Patton Oswalt said in that video interview, The Informant isn't a movie that is spoon-fed to the viewer. And that's great, but it's not The Hangover.

    Photos of Matt and Lucy after the photocall are at Flickr:
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=%22matt+damon%22&s=rec
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: September 7th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Mixed reviews

    I havent read adjustment Bureau, but thanks for the link. I have read the Mandela script. It is also good, but I have to say not a lot of meat for Matt there. Im sure Matt will be great but I do question his Oscar chances just because there isnt a lot there.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 7th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Mixed reviews

    I've been amused all year about how everyone has been talking up Matt's chances for Invictus but all the signs are that it is not an important role. Matt said it was just a supporting role, the author of the book said Morgan had the only chance for an Oscar and there's not much of a role for Francois in the film anyway (having read the book and Pienaar's autobiography). And that's been the story from those who have read the script.

    I'm sure it was a great experience to make (and the sure to be Oprah-friendly publicity will be great), but the critics are going to be harsh in regards to his accent, playing ability and physical differences to Pienaar.

    Matt talked briefly about working with Eastwood in the press conference today, in comparing him to Soderbergh:

    http://www.movieplayer.it/articoli/06066/steven-soderbergh-e-matt-damon-informatori-a-venezia/

    Another photo of Matt and Lucy after the photocall:
    http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Cinema/0,,MUL1295100-7086,00-MATT+DAMON+PASSEIA+POR+VENEZA+COM+A+ESPOSA.html

    Edited at 2009-09-07 03:22 pm (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 7th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Variety review and photos

    The review from Variety is up and mostly positive (Todd McCarthy gets it):
    http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940960.html?categoryid=31&cs=1

    The wacky little brother of “Erin Brockovich,” “The Informant!” goofs around lightheartedly while still doing some justice to the true-life story of a zealous but wildly delusional corporate whistle-blower. A larky outing for director Steven Soderbergh after the somber rigors of “Che” and “The Girlfriend Experience,” the pic showcases an excellent performance by a chubbed-out Matt Damon as a Midwestern executive who’s so smart he’s dumb. Amusingly eccentric rather than outright funny, this Warner Bros. release will have to rely mostly on Damon for its B.O., which looks to be modest.

    Damon is in very sharp form in his fifth film with Soderbergh. The thesp makes Mark brazen in his conviction that he’s always right and unremorseful about his fabrications, but never in a superior, hubristic manner; as is slowly revealed, he’s always been able to rationalize any alteration of reality that served his purposes, and even when faced with his own deviousness, he never doubts that, “I’m the good guy in all this.”

    **
    More photos from the press calls (including Lucy):
    http://justjared.buzznet.com/2009/09/07/matt-damon-informant-venice-film-festival/

    Edited at 2009-09-07 04:50 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 7th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Screening of The Informant

    just looking at photos on getty images of Matt and Lucy - I love Lucy's dress, she looks so beautiful and Matt as always looks very handsome, love a man in a suit, but i did notice one thing they are both wearing what looks like rings on there middle right hands, any ideas on that?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 8th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Screening of The Informant

    Thanks for the tip - I'll try to find a close-up (but I have no idea as to its significance).
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 8th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC) (Link)

    Rings

    thinking on it could either be a charity thing or is it not the anniversary of their engagement around this time, so an eternity ring maybe? very sweet
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 8th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Rings

    But they didn't have the rings on for the morning events and press call. It is close to the anniversary of their engagement, which was thought to be Labor Day weekend - good call.

    Photos coming soon from the premiere.
    14 comments or Leave a comment