Obviously Matt Damon doesn’t eat much food.
I review movies for Eater. But sometimes what I write gets killed, as it did in this case. The though was that writing about movies from the point of view of food and drink when the movie isn’t explicitly about food and drink is a stretch. However, since food and drink underlies all that we do — we wouldn’t survive without it — I disagree. Below is the piece that got killed. It is about Elysium.
Do you like food? Do you like movies? Do you like movies about food? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might enjoy Eater at the Movies, a new column by Joshua David Stein which examines eating and drinking on screen.
If you’ve been to the movies in the last few weeks, but didn’t go to see Lee Daniels’ The Butler, you probably saw Elysium, the dystopic dyspeptic sci-fi thriller set in Los Angeles in the year 2154 and which stars Matt Damon, who never seems to age. Not since Good Will Hunting, not now, not in the year 2154. Handsome man-boys live forever in a bone-ugly world.
The premise of the movie, directed Neill Blomkamp, who specializes in politically grounded near-future quasi-armageddon flicks like District 9, is straightforward. The year is 2154. The Earth has gone to pot. It’s not totally uninhabitable but it is polluted, toxic and trashed. The rich, therefore, live on a pretty space station / super gated community that looks like a giant Mercedes Benz logo called Elysium. The poors — of which there are many more — still live on Earth, though it all seems like what today we call “the developing world.” Meaning: trash, lots of it; infrastructure, little of it; crime, lots; education, little, etc. That’s about the long and short of it. There’s some mishegoss about Matt Damon’s character (Max, a poor) getting to Elysium. There’s a love story between Max and Frey (Alice Braga), who is a nurse. Jodie Foster, who plays Elysium’s Secretary of Defense, is evil, blond, speaks English in an apocryphal Margaret Thatcher accent and German when she’s giving sadistic orders.. Nothing you didn’t know from her robust defense of Mel Gibson.