Matt Damon must be very happy this morning. Hard, hard working, very talented, and lately verbose, Damon has not had his own major box office hit since 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum.”
But Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” — which debuted last month at the Toronto Film Festival to accolades– made $18 million last night. It’s on track for a $50 million weekend. Rave reviews abound. Damon is a serious contender for a Best Actor nomination.
His third time in space is a charm, after “Elysium”– a fiasco– and a brief appearance in “Interstellar.”
Damon’s performance as an astronaut/botanist left behind– home alone, as it were– on Mars, is just lovely, totally charming, and winning. Everyone else in the movie is excellent, too, starting with Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, and Kate Mara.
The news is good for Ridley Scott, too. He’s kind of fumfered around since reaching a high with “Gladiator” and “Black Hawk Down” 15 years ago. (The list isn’t so good– I won’t get into it, but “The Counselor,” “A Very Good Year”?) “The Martian” harkens back to his best work (“Blade Runner, “Black Rain,” “Thelma and Louise,” “Alien,” and a little gem called “Someone to Watch Over Me”).
Good news all the way around.