BW at the World Premiere of The Martian: 'It's a Really Optimistic and Hopeful Movie' 

click to enlarge Matt Damon is The Martian

Matt Damon is The Martian

Yes, it’s that good. Correction: Yes, it’s that great. The Martian—this year’s first sure-bet to be a Best Picture Oscar contender—hits the big screen in Boise (and across the planet) Thursday night, but Boise Weekly was lucky enough to catch the world premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival in early September.

click to enlarge - Director Ridley Scott and Matt Damon prior to the world premiere of The Martian at the Toronto International Film Festival. -  - GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice
  • Director Ridley Scott and Matt Damon prior to the world premiere of The Martian at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“It’s a really optimistic and hopeful movie,” Matt Damon told BW on the TIFF red carpet minutes before the premiere. “Absolutely, if you look at the newspaper headlines lately, well….it’s part of our job as artists to put something this optimistic out once in a while.”

Indeed, The Martian is an emotional story that reminds us that by rescuing those of us who need it most is the surest path toward our own salvation.

“Let’s face it, we can’t do this alone,” co-star Donald Glover told BW. Glover plays one of the many NASA uber-nerds who remind us that science is absolutely cool, and he’s joined by an outstanding cast, including Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jessica Chastain.

“I’m particularly happy that out of a crew of five aboard the mission for this film, two are women,” Chastain said. “And this movie, especially the zero-gravity stuff, is choreographed within an inch of its life. But we’re all in it for the ride.”

Chastain plays Melissa Lewis, commander of a human mission to Mars that in the opening moments of the film is fairly certain that fellow astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) has died in a Martian storm. Minutes later, they’re blasting off from Mars with an empty seat, leaving behind what they think is a corpse. But anyone who has seen the trailer of The Martian (the promotional budget for the film is nearly as big as the production) knows that astronaut Watney is very much alive. And thus begins the smart, fully, emotional and highly-entertaining tale of The Martian.

“Yes, there’s plenty of humor in The Martian and all of the humor was in the book (the 2011 bestseller was authored by Andy Weir). So we mined that book for some pretty great lines in the movie,” said Damon. “We started with something pretty great. You don’t want to bronze the gold medal.”

Here’s a tip: spring for the extra bucks to see The Martian in 3-D. Rather than throwing images at you to exploit the 3-dimensional effect, The Martian instead uses 3-D to pull you into its story, thus making the experience much more emotional.

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