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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.

One Response to “Damon Was Robbed”

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas