Anne and I saw The Good Shepherd yesterday, and it's in my top 5 movies of 2006, maybe even in my top 3. In fact, the only movies I think I liked as much were The Departed and Little Miss Sunshine. (That's not to say that there weren't lots of great movies out in 2006; it's just that I only saw a handful of them.) It's long, though: 2 hours and 40 minutes, and it's densely-packed
enough that you can't really get up to pee without missing something
important, so don't load up on Green Tea (like I did) before the film.
Everything about this movie satisfied me, from the script to the
cinematography, to the editing and directing, to every single
performance. Matt Damon is brilliant (like he is in everything he does)
and I admitted to myself yesterday that I am equally admiring and
envious of him and his career. He gets such great opportunities to do
such magnificent roles, and he always lives up to the demands of the
role. If I thought that I could work my way back into that realm of the
industry, where I can compete for roles like that and one day work with
actors like Matt Damon, it would almost be worth it to go back to the
miserable frustrating and ultimately depressing experience of
auditioning several times a week.
An interesting thing that I noticed about the film: if you see a commercial for the movie, you'll see something like, "'The Godfather of spy movies!' - Newsweek" . . . which, according to the film's Wikipedia page, isn't exactly accurate:
David Ansen in his Newsweek review wrote, "For the film's mesmerizing first 50 minutes I thought De Niro might pull off the The Godfather of spy movies... Still, even if the movie's vast reach exceeds its grasp, it's a spellbinding history lesson."
The way I understand that, he's saying that it almost makes it as The Godfather of spy movies, but even though it doesn't quite get there, it's still good. That's pretty different from saying that it's The Godfather
of spy movies, isn't it? I don't know why the studio's PR department
needed to misuse that quote, because the film stands entirely on its own and doesn't need a misleading ad campaign to get people into theaters; word of mouth and the intriguing trailers should do just fine.
Anyway, I highly recommend it; it's the Goodfellas of spy movies.