2016 Oscars Challenge: [24] “The Martian” – Best Leading Actor

MATT DAMON
“The Martian”


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OscarsⓇ Nominated Role: Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut stranded on Mars who must engineer the means to survive the planet’s harsh environment long enough to be rescued.


Before reading a book, I generally hate knowing who’s been cast in the film adaptations because picturing a certain person as any particular character can be detrimental to the imagination process. If they drop the ball, all you can picture is that poorly cast person in the role of someone you might like, and the reading process is marred. However, reading “The Martian,” I was privy to the fact that a film was being made and that Matt Damon had been cast, and this was a rare incident where knowing who was cast made the book that much better, because Damon was the absolute perfect person to be cast as the tongue-in-cheek botanist, Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars. His deliveries are perfect, he brings the character to life with a range of emotions that only he could emote, and his being nominated is a testament that there is not a single actor in the business today that could have played this role as well as Damon.

Who’s his competition? Despite that perfect casting, there are other nominees who simply have more to work with than Damon. Playing up the comedy, Damon’s performance feels less emotionally investing than say the front-runner Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn in “The Revenant.” Not to mention that at this point, if DiCaprio doesn’t win, there will be an outcry. Fassbender and Redmayne are also strong second place runners, but neither fit their character to absolute perfection like Damon, and for that, he’s a strong second bet.

Previous nominations? This is the fourth Academy Award nomination for Matt Damon. He was previously nominated for:

  • INVICTUS (2009)
    Nominee, Actor in a Supporting Role
  • GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997)
    Nominee, Actor in a Leading Role
  • GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997)
    Winner, Writing (Original)

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// Produced by Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Aditya Sood, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam // Directed by Ridley Scott //
// Dated Viewed: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 // BLU-RAY //  18 films – 26 days //

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