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Noah Forrest

By Noah Forrest Forrest@moviecitynews.com

Damon Was Robbed

I was surfing through the channels earlier and I saw that Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! was on, so I decided to watch a few minutes.  I wound up watching about an hour of the movie because I got so wrapped up in Matt Damon’s lead performance.  I’ve long felt that Damon was one of the best young actors we have, but he just keeps getting better.  What he does in The Informant! has such a high degree of difficulty.  The tone of the performance is so perfectly calculated and one wrong note could throw the whole thing off.

But the point is that Damon was nominated for an Oscar last year…for Invictus.  I mean, Damon is fine in that movie and does a convincing South African accent, but I don’t understand how 1) that was only his second acting nomination and the first since Good Will Hunting and 2) that he was shut out for The Informant!.  It is astounding to me that Damon’s work in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Rounders, The Departed, and The Good Shepherd all went unrecognized by the Academy.

One of our best

This year, though, I just don’t see how Colin Firth (A Single Man) and Morgan Freeman (Invictus) got nominated ahead of Damon’s masterful performance.  Damon is objectively better than those two and he’s better than George Clooney in Up in the Air (although I don’t begrudge that nomination).  It almost seems to me that either there is a conspiracy against nominating Matt Damon in the acting categories or the majority of the Academy is stupid (the more likely explanation).

Damon should have three films coming out before the end of the year: True Grit, Hereafter, and The Adjustment Bureau.  That’s three chances for the Academy to screw up.

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“By the time the draft was completed, and passed on to my frequent collaborator, director Kathryn Bigelow, I’d written something quite unlike the singular focus and sole protagonists of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. The effort to make Detroit a mirror of the chaotic times led to an ensemble piece, quickly shifting between characters in a nesting doll of movies within movies, a riot film that gives way to racial horror-crime that switches to a courtroom drama, with several detours along the way into a band’s journey, the miseducation of rookie cops and the adventures of a pair of young women experimenting with sexual freedom. It was, in short, a lot of ground to cover in a single picture. But Kathryn was encouraging, and over the proceeding draft we collaborated closely to hone the themes and scope, while attempting to keep alive the spirit of a tough and untamed narrative.”
~ Mark Boal on researching and writing Detroit

What are we doing wrong?
“Well, first of all, by “we” I assume you mean the public, the public approach or the public discourse, which means the discourse that takes place in the media. And for the purposes of this discussion, let us imagine that the media is white and thus approaches the topic of race as if they (the white people) were the answer and them (the black people) were the question. And so, in the interest of fairness, they take their turn (having first, of course, given it to themselves) and then invite comment by some different white people and some similar black people. They give what purports to be simply their point of view and then everyone else gives their beside-the-point of view.

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~ Fran Lebowitz, 1997