One of the more widely accepted Hollywood truisms is that directors do not improve with age. Whether it’s due to the lack of desire brought on by material wealth or loss of libido, they lose their artistic edge. From Charlie Chaplin’s A Countess From Hong Kong to Billy Wilder’s Buddy Buddy, a filmmaker’s late-career efforts are typically better left forgotten. It’s what led Quentin Tarantino to declare, “I just don’t want to be an old-man filmmaker… When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty.” The Martian might change QT’s mind. At 77, Ridley Scott has somehow managed to helm his best movie since Blade Runner—which came out all the way back in 1982. Boasting eye-catching lensing by cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, impeccable production design, and anchored by a towering central performance from Matt Damon as Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut presumed dead and left behind on Mars by his crew, The Martian is one of the best films of the year so far; an expertly crafted crowdpleaser that gainted the approval of a particularly tough critic. “Elon Musk saw it, and he liked it a lot,” recalled Scott. “He told me, ‘Now I’m really determined to go to Mars.’” When you mention… Read full this story
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