In yesterday’s riff about the trailer for Tom McCarthy‘s Stillwater (Focus Features, 7.30), I shared reservations about Matt Damon‘s “yokelish Midwesterner who probably loves Donald Trump and resembles those generic beastly types who stormed the Capitol.
“I’m sorry but I don’t care for heavy-set fellows who swallow their words…vaguely surly, low-key clock punchers who drawl ‘yes sir’ and ‘yes ma’am’ and still insist the election was stolen…I love hanging with super-smart reporters who work for the Boston Globe, but not Jesse Plemons gutty-wuts like this.”
To which Correcting Jeff wrote, “At least Wells owns being an ass.”
HE to Correcting Jeff: “In what way exactly is it asinine to say what I said above?
“Audiences like certain characters and they dislike others. It’s a common, natural process. Basic human appeal, intelligence, decency, spunk, charisma, relatability, compelling energy…these things and more go into determining whether you want to hang with a certain character for the length of a feature film or not.
“I was persuaded by the Stillwater trailer that I don’t especially want to hang with Damon’s burly hinterland character. Based on the lack of above-mentioned qualities. How exactly does this make me an ass?
“If McCarthy and Damon had simply agreed before shooting that Damon’s overly performed bumblefuck character would be too much of an obstacle for people like me, and that the wiser course would be to have Damon drop 15 or 20 pounds and play the guy as if he’s Matt Damon, the movie star, only from Oklahoma — a guy with an intelligent appreciation of the life’s ins and outs, no blue-collar baseball hat, no swallowing of consonants, no cornbelt accent — if they’d done this the movie would be A LOT more appealing.
“I don’t want to spend two hours with a schlubby guy whose friends, one imagines, could have easily stormed the U.S. Capitol on 1.6.21.”