|Photo: Chris White|
As I opened this review, The Martian should definitely get Oscar buzz, and a lot of it. I’ll start with the acting. Damon gives one of the – if not the – performance of his career. That’s saying a lot given the incredible career he’s had. This film is about 80-20 as far as screen time for Damon and his counterparts, with Damon often being the only character in a scene, delivering a monologue for several minutes as we witness his Watney triumph and struggle to survive. Performances from Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor – and even Kristen Wiig – were brilliant as well and should not be overlooked. On the choice of Wiig in this film, it was interesting to see her in more of a dramatic role as opposed to comedic roles as I’m accustomed to seeing her portray – but it worked. The technical side of things was genius as well, completely immersing the audience into Watney’s story and making the audience feel like it is right there, trapped on Mars with Watney. The film’s 184-minute runtime may be a bit long for some, but I thought it was just right.