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Matt Damon News Column
Toronto Film Festival
  • Matt has arrived in Toronto ahead of The Martian's press conference at 1.45pm (local time) on Friday - coverage will be available on YouTube. The premiere will be at 9.30pm Friday, with red carpet coverage live on the film's social media sites (including Instagram:martianmovie) from 8.30pm.

  • The press conference is available here:

  • Photos from the press conference, via Martian Movie.

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    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • 23 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 11th, 2015 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Richard Roeper The Martian Preview


    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 11th, 2015 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Matt arriving in Toronto

    Little video of Matt arriving in Toronto and signong autograph.


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 11th, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)




    A beguiling mix of suspenseful, goofy, and rousing, The Martian is sublime, sophisticated entertainment. I left feeling weightless.

    The film is a perfect vehicle for Damon's brand of affable intelligence—a lot of the movie consists of Damon talking to a video diary (he's vlogging, essentially), which could easily feel static after a while. But Damon maintains his effortless charm, knowing just when to humanize Watney before he becomes a too-clever caricature of scientific ego. It's an endlessly likable, nimble performance that's a nice reminder that, while he may at heart be a gifted character actor, Damon can still be a hell of a leading man when he wants to be.


    Edited at 2015-09-11 07:28 pm (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 11th, 2015 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Review tweets

    Two key responses:

    Gregory Ellwood ‏@TheGregoryE 2 hours ago
    The Martian is gonna be a big big hit. Major crowd pleaser. Matt Damon will get Oscar nod talk. #TIFF15

    Jason LeRoy ‏@Jason_LeRoy 2 hours ago
    THE MARTIAN: A plucky Matt Damon wisecracks his way through Mars desertion. Feels like a summer movie. Only a tech awards contender. #TIFF15

    WindyCityLIVE ‏@WindyCityLIVE h3 hours ago
    "Brilliant film. Beautiful!" -@richardroeper on upcoming fall film "The Martian" featuring Matt Damon

    Matt Patches‏@misterpatches 1 hour ago
    THE MARTIAN: They screenwrote the shit out of that. Faithful to the book, with added bonus of Matt Damon landing every joke. #TIFF15

    Linda Holmes‏@nprmonkeysee
    I give THE MARTIAN five out of five potatoes. #TIFF15

    Celluloid Dobler ‏@CelluloidDobler 1 hour ago
    THE MARTIAN (Scott) - pretty sure Matt Damon will "Bring Him Home" this year (Oscar, that is!). Scott's best since PROMETHEUS 5/5 #TIFF15

    Jamie Graham ‏@jamie_graham9 2 hours ago
    Glad everyone seems to be liking The Martian at #TIFF2015. I loved it. Matt Damon will in the shake up for Best Actor noms

    Esther Zuckerman ‏@ezwrites 2 hours ago
    I don't think THE MARTIAN would work without Matt Damon, but his charm city performance sells a series of math problems #TIFF15

    ErikDavis ‏@ErikDavis 2 hours ago
    THE MARTIAN (A): Matt Damon is at his best in a wildly entertaining story that's nerdy, riveting, funny & surprisingly emotional #TIFF15

    Mike Ryan ‏@mikeryan 2 hours ago
    Matt Damon is kinda perfect for THE MARTIAN: We feel his solitude and horror without the movie being bleak. Strangely fun movie. #TIFF15
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 11th, 2015 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

    More reviews

    Variety is very positive:

    So is Esquire:

    Hollywood Reporter

    Scott does generate a degree of suspense in this climactic stretch, but the film’s overall tone is dominated by the characters’ collegial humor, mutual respect among professionals and smart people being tested by an unprecedented challenge. The director and screenwriter downplay the conventional melodrama inherent in the situation in favor of emphasizing how practical problems should be addressed with rational responses rather than hysteria, knee-jerk patriotism or selfish expedience.


    1. It’s got a genuinely great lead performance.
    Truth be told, The Martian is a bit of a comeback for Matt Damon too. While he was delightful in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, it’s been a while since Damon led a notable big-screen hit, and as an astronaut marooned on Mars who must struggle to stay alive until NASA can reach him, Damon gives a full-blown movie-star performance. The most valuable tool in this astronaut’s arsenal is the sense of wry humor with which he greets every major setback, and Damon nails every joke. Despite being lost in space, he’s not panicking like Sandra Bullock in Gravity or losing his mind like … well, like Matt Damon in Interstellar: Instead, he’s jerry-rigging exciting new ways to stay alive, recording clever vlogs in his space station, and coming as close as anyone possibly could to making almost certain space death seem like a fun way to go. It’s a pleasure to hang out with him for two-plus hours, and The Martian is surely going to give Damon’s mid-career a major jolt.

    People article

    Photos and fun captions from the press conference

    Summary of early twitter reviews:

    Edited at 2015-09-11 11:54 pm (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2015 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)

    Premiere, LA Times review

    Matt, Lucy, Alexia, Jennifer Todd and others including his father and Jason Walsh at the Martian's pre-premiere drinks:

    shinan govani ‏@shinangovani 6 minutes ago
    In the HUB of it all: Matt Damon at the pre-party for The Martian at the Four Seasons Centre. #tiff15

    The show on Mars is 'Happy Days' and Matt does an imitation of the Fonz - interesting LA Times which notes it is likely to get awards support due to the humor:

    Edited at 2015-09-12 12:23 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2015 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)

    The Martian Premiere

    Lucy & Alexia are with Matt tonight.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2015 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian Premiere

    Lucy's in a very revealing but lovely black dress - photo on the Martian's IG page or twitter. Patrick Whitesell is also there.

    Lovely photo here:

    Good pic of Matt signing autographs earlier in the day:

    Video of Matt and Lucy at the premiere:

    Edited at 2015-09-12 01:02 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2015 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian Premiere

    Matt looks very handsome.
    And Lucy has a FANTASTIC body.
    I can't believe she has 4 children.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2015 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian Premiere

    I understand Lucy's dress. She's been working out hard for a long time and it's her first big premiere in a while. She knows the attention and scrutiny she will receive and generally doesn't seem to care.

    Video of a back view of Matt and Lucy at the premiere:

    Edited at 2015-09-12 02:22 am (UTC)
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: September 12th, 2015 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Re: The Martian Premiere

    WOW!!! They look like dynamite! 👍 Her dress is low cut, but it's very very tasteful and her body looks great is right. Good for them!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2015 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian Premiere

    Another sweet video of Matt and Lucy (back view):

    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: September 12th, 2015 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)


    I haven't had a chance to watch the q&a yet, but I CANNOT believe how good Matt looks in the photos from the Q&A today. He literally has found the fountain of youth and looks as good (if not better) than he did in 2007 for Bourne Ultimatum promotion..
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2015 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Q&A

    Seriously thinking the same things!
    Lucy is very pretty, but that wardrobe though... pretty dress but a little to much.
    And Matt looks like hes in his 30s again... really cool!

    PS. im lovinggg all the posts on here!
    Thank you everyone!!
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2015 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)

    Running time

    running time 142min?

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2015 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Running time

    The official time on the TIFF site was 130 minutes. Critics are calling it either long, too short or just the right length.

    Jeff Sneider ‏@TheInSneider 38 minutes ago
    There is a 12 minute difference between Variety's running time for THE MARTIAN and THR's. Who to believe?

    Edited at 2015-09-12 02:02 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2015 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)


    Wow. This is all so fantastic! Thank you so much everyone. I'm sorry I've been out of pocket all day and haven't contributed anything, but here's a terrific headline from a rave review in Esquire.

    "Review: Matt Damon's The Martian Is the Breaking Bad of Sci-fi Epics"
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2015 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Premiere

    Wondering where you were on this glorious press day!

    And there's another great line somewhere about it being the ultimate film for nerds, but I can't find it now.

    The reviews will be interesting to watch - the most negative ones are coming from the UK press who perhaps don't like the sense of optimism and patriotism (and lack of drama).

    From the most negative review so far:

    It's a film that would pass the time on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and if you happen to find Matt Damon to be God's gift to charming bastards, well then you might want to book early for this one. Yet, it's not about anything at all. It has nothing to say.

    And there's some dancing from Matt:


    Edited at 2015-09-12 04:46 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2015 08:46 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Re: Premiere

    Oh god, I want to see him dancing right now!! That reminds me of him mentioning Donna Summer's Hot Stuff at People instagram q&a. Hint, hint.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2015 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)


    Pretty accurate comment in a review:

    Damon gets an open platform to show off his Hollywood everyman-if-they-went-to-the-gym-more-and-dieted charisma. The situation may be dire, but the gravity of Mark’s predicament is rarely heavy; it’s a consistent pleasure to watch Damon jigger, tinker, and smarm his way out of one scrape, and into another. He also nails the rare moments of the script that treat Watney as a human being with internal psychology, not some charming but alien font of indefatigable proactivity. The rest of the cast gains similar benefit just from being likeable company, including Sean Bean, whose casting may be just for the sake of really driving home an extended Lord of the Rings reference.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2015 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Comment

    Ha ha :)
    23 comments or Leave a comment