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Entries in Matt Damon (32)

Tuesday
Jan262016

Best Acting, Male Division: Personal Ballots & Oscar Charts

In the war of scene-stealing antagonists this year, Oscar Isaac's Nathan (Ex Machina) > Tom Hardy's Fitzgerald (The Revenant). We love both actors here at TFE and loved them before the rest of the web did (brag brag) but when it comes down to awards season you have to make tough choices.

That's just a handy way of saying Oscar and I go our separate ways more often than not in the acting categories but now both lists are available for your (hopeful) entertainment... 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
On the subject of category placement antagonists are often tricky. They definitely move the plot -- neither The Revenant or Ex Machina can function without these devious men, but often you can see either argument for lead or supporting. While Ex Machina arguably has three leads being such a chamber drama I occasionally relax the soapbox for performances that straddle the divide. A recent rewatch of Ex Machina confirmed that Oscar Isaac would make whichever shortlist we put him in (and I'd switched him back and forth during the year in drafts). It's such an inventive approach to a thoroughly imagined character so I tossed the dice and supporting he went. Now watch him tear up this fucking dance floor...

Only one of Oscar's men makes my own personal ballot (just posted) with apologies to Mark Rylance who I thought would place but he fell in the dread sixth spot! It happens. I've completed the Oscar chart as well and included trivia for this golden sausage party. Speaking of sausage parties... I think this is the first male Oscar lineup ever in which ALL the men have gone full frontal in other movies. Weird, right? It's an exhibitionist group this year. This only occurred to me to check because I was a big fan of Intimacy (2001) back in the day which starred Mark Rylance and everyone knows that Sly starred in a porno before Rocky (1976)

The charts also include our "How'd they get nominated" fun. So here's a sample -- the Tom Hardy in The Revenant edition: 

25% Leo's bro power pulls his main men in w/ him
21% Spicy Bait: Villains prioritized in this category 
20% Timing. 'The Revenant' was the shiniest new toy
15% Everyone wishes they could have punched Iñárritu in the face
10% Performance - they like 'em BIG to shake up slow epics (see also: The Zeéeeee in 'Cold Mountain')
9% 'Mad Max Fury Rd'

P.S. I should not that though Hardy didn't make my top 12 in supporting I appreciate his go for broke attempts to save The Revenant from its own grandiose self-importance with a little cured ham.

Matt Damon a nominee at both the Oscars & the Film Bitch AwardsBEST LEADING ACTOR 
Given the weirdly unanimous "meh" factor that Oscar's shortlist has produced in audiences, at least on the web, it's hard to imagine it coming to be at all. But then you remember the media complicity in producing these sorts of safe groupings of all-stars whether or not people were actually hugely impressed with their work. Oscar produced a list of five major players who unfortunately could have been nominated based on the roles themselves before anyone saw the work (always a problem!). You've got your reigning Best Actor (Eddie Redmayne), your mega stars (Leonardo DiCaprio & Matt Damon), and your highly-revered thespians (Bryan Cranston & Michael Fassbender) with all but one of them (Damon) playing real life people. That's the baitiest of bait to awards types -- not just Oscar! --  though after 15 years of covering movies and awards seasons I still can't fathom why playing someone who really exists/existed is so much more likely to be lauded than creating a character from scratch with only the screenplay, director and your imagination to guide you. 

But anyway that's Oscar's list. Only two of them survive to make my personal ballot and I had to correct some category campaign problems too to put Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Paul Dano (Love & Mercy) where they belonged. Since DiCaprio's fans can be quite touchy I should note that he's solid, as ever, in The Revenant. He's locked up to win the Oscar finally but sadly the film just isn't asking very much of him, emotionally, beyond grief and anguish which he's been playing with minor variations for at a dozen years now. Sorry Oscar campaign narrative but tough physical working conditions and weird diets ≠ acting triumph. 

Sunday
Jan172016

CCMA Live Blog

08:00 I was going to boycott the show this year because of The Shark Jump Awakens but I'm an addict. Awards shows. Red Carpets... excuse me Blue carpets. So I watch. TJ Miller begins the show with an okay monologue without many jokes. The recurring joke is the physical gag of his "four dancing critics." In comedy theory this is one fo those jokes that gets funnier and funnier as it goes from the sheer commitment and silliness but it's probably too early in the evening (read: everyone is too sober) to pull this off just yet.

Suddenly picturing a team of 4 puppets typing with me. Enjoying the fantasy.

08:03 There are approximately 1000 reaction shots of Matt Damon already. Which is weird since there are so many celebrities to choose from in the house. 

Netflix and Chill. I'd rather HBO Go Down on Someone."

08:05 That's a joke I laughed at. I am only human.

08:07 At some point critics are called "professional sifters"? Which hmmm. Semantic comedy? There's also an aside about Oscar Isaac that I didn't get. Miller also congratulates everyone in the room

All of you are in here. You're in the room. You already did it. you won.

I lost, I guess. I'm not in the room this year. But Kirsten Dunst and Rachel McAdams are. [More after the jump]

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Tuesday
Dec292015

Oscar Race: How Crazy Are Those SAG Awards, Really? 

Coco here, ready to talk about the current Oscar race and those crazy SAG awards in particular.

As you already know, the Screen Actors Guild decided to honor the best acting of 2015 in the most bizarre way possible; handing the most nominations to blacklist Hollywood drama Trumbo, and nominating a number of performances whose inclusion range from surprising to outright insane. 

Don't worry, I'm not here to defend SAG's ridiculous choices. I'm here to do what The Film Experience best at: speculate about Oscar nominations. See, the other day I saw someone on Twitter say he'd be surprised if any of this year's SAG categories are repeated 5-for-5 at the Oscars. This comment got me thinking...

Although the amount of correlation between SAG and Oscar has gone down a bit in the last couple years, the math still says that at least one of Oscar's acting categories will look identical to SAG's. The question I'm here to answer is: which one?

Lots of awards spaculation after the jump. 

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Wednesday
Dec232015

HBO’s LGBT History: Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we dipped our toes into Todd Haynes’s Mildred Pierce only to find that it’s oddly divisive, as is its leading lady, Ms Kate Winslet. Who knew? This week we look at a high profile project that was intended for the silver screen but given the current film market found itself in the not too shabby quarters of HBO: the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, written by 2016 WGA Ian McClellan Hunter Award honoree Richard LaGravenese and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Released in 2013, the project was perhaps the gayest project on HBO’s roster since Kushner’s Angels in America. Indeed, if you’ve been following us these past few weeks you’ll notice we’ve dealt with low-key flicks like Bernard and Doris and Cinema Verite. Documentaries it’s where it was until Soderbergh brought his glittering film to the Home Box Office. Upon its release (it premiered at Cannes), the film was showered with praise not only for Soderbergh’s visual flair but for its central performances, with Michael Douglas earning some of his best reviews in years. [More...]


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Monday
Nov022015

Why Isn't 'Cinderella' an Oscar Contender?

Glenn here.

You will no doubt have read – or least seen the headlines – that people are saying that Ridley Scott’s The Martian should be taken very, very seriously as a Best Picture contender. I’ve even seen people claiming it could win, which seems awfully bullish given its hastily rising status in Oscar circles is due almost entirely to the film’s overwhelming success at the box office in the face of a glut of underperforming Oscar players like Steve Jobs. But amid this new wind of blockbuster excitement and the snickers at (contractually obligated) Oscar campaigns for other big-budget, uber-successful movies, there’s one film that has so far gone under the radar in the conversation and ought to be taken far more seriously than it likely will be.

Yes, I mean Cinderella... more after the jump

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