Friday, September 11, 2009

Fake "Informant" goes after gold -- sort of


“I’m gonna just come right out and say it: The only reason I did this movie was for an Oscar nomination.” Sure Matt Damon was only kidding when he made that proclamation earlier today to open a Toronto Film Festival-based press conference for “The Informant!”
Still, mark it down, the kid from Boston will be on the final ballot when Academy Award nods are announced for Best Actor in February.
He’s certainly that good as a “doughy,” toupee-wearin’ con man with (Ravenna) Ohio roots. “I based my entire performance on watching Julia (Roberts) in ‘Erin Brockovich,’” Damon added with a broad smile in referring to what brought Best Actress hardware to Roberts in a similar, if infinitely more serious film from director Steven Soderbergh.
Just as in person, Damon is very funny in his latest role, obviously standing out in a cast of comics hired by the director to give the “true”story of corporate price fixing a much lighter tone.
Even the legendary Smothers Brothers make cameos.
“When I came up with this idea of using comedians, I just thought, ‘I gotta get the Smothers Brothers’,” Soderbergh told me at the end of the press confab. “Also, Tommy bore a resemblance, in the pictures I’ve seen, to Dwayne Andreas (one of the principals in the federal case on which the movie is based).
“Literally, when we called him, he said, ‘Do you guys have a part for Dick because I’m not sure I can do this without him?’
“So then I said, ‘Actually, we do. There’s this judge that he would be great for.’ I’m so proud that they’re in it, because I love them,” Soderbergh added.
Read more about “The Informant” (opening Sept. 18) and Damon -- who addresses gaining 30 pounds for the role, Internet rumors about his death, and what’s happening with the “Bourne” movies – in Thursday’s Sun News.
On the other hand, Soderbergh himself all but put the kibosh on any possibility of an “Ocean’s 14.”
“It was always three and out of the (franchise) mix for me anyway,” the director said, “but any possibility of another one certainly died when (“Ocean’s 11, 12, 13” standout) Bernie Mac did.”

Festival sleeper film of the day: “The Damned United,” another darn good true story, even if you’re not a huge fan of soccer, er, English “football.” As usual, Michael Sheen and, in particular, Timothy Spall, turn in fine performances as coaches and friends.
Director Tom Hooper (of the magnificent “John Adams” miniseries) and screenwriter Peter Morgan (“The Queen”) get close to the top of their game once again, too.
More from Toronto – and perhaps from a few weekend parties – in a few days.
Meanwhile, read about Sheen’s ex-mate, Kate Becksinsale, right now at Sun News. There’s also my reviews of “My One and Only,” “Flame & Citron” and Beckinsale’s “Whiteout.”

1 comment:

Ordinary Housewife said...

Never wanted to see The Informant based on the commercials, but now I do! Thanks, John.