Today is Friday and I’m super excited about something. Things, in fact. One of the more interesting among these is the fact that tonight I will get to see Matt Damon in “The Informant.” Some of you might be wondering why a film critic of international notoriety like myself (ha!) has to wait until theatrical release day to see a film and you might be right in asking this. Promotion, marketing and networking is something I have promised myself to step up in the year to come.
But anyway, back to The Informant. I haven’t been this excited about a film in a while. Damon plays Mark Whitacre, an Archer Daniels Midland (big agribusiness) executive who in the 1990s exposed a price-fixing scheme that landed several of his bosses and colleagues in prison. In other words, he turns into an FBI snitch (the film is based on a true story). How unusual, but then director Steven Soderberg has always followed an unusual path in his professional career, ever since that cold morning in Park City when he brought ‘Sex, Lies and Videotapes,’ to a screening for movie biz people.
Steven Soderberg is an anti-conformist director, it’s obvious. He’s on the fringe of big studio filmmaking, meaning his films remain intriguing and sometimes even inaccessible and yet his projects get bankrolled supremely well. Couple of things about The Informant. Matt Damon is apparently very funny in it. He comes across as a little dim but will turn out to be anything but. He also gained thirty pounds and looks like a manicured Joe the Plumber.
And his character is a chatty kathy, a major change from his past characters who are not exactly loquacious types as you will recall. I haven’t exactly been thrilled watching Damon on the big screen–he can be a little underwhelming. But he’s stayed the course, didn’t make the sort of stupid script choices that some of his peers have and has given reliable performances. Stay tuned for my review tomorrow.