Look at that face. On a surface level it’s completely and utterly neutral. He doesn’t care, it was Leo’s award. Matt Damon knew that he wasn’t going to win it months ago. He never even stood a chance.
Imagine the months and months of knowing that you’d been nominated for such a prestigious award, one that you really really want and yet from the off everyone is already saying it’s going to Leonardo DiCaprio.
Imagine the pain of knowing that this was potentially the performance of your career, one where you pretty much played the whole thing solo. A role that you actually had to get trapped alone on Mars to even get nominated for, a true story no less, where you had to learn how to grow potatoes out of faeces in a completely inhospitable environment. But the Academy, in their infinite (definitely not predisposed) wisdom decided to give it to a man who was simply cold for two and a half hours.
Burying the pain deep inside, Matt Damon probably came to terms with the fact that he wasn’t going to win a long time ago. But then, just before he got to the venue, freshly fitted inside that sweet tuxedo, he thought – what if? What if everyone is wrong and this is mine? And this seed of hope blossomed during the short limo ride to the show, turning into a tree of victory. By the time he had sat in his chair he’d already won the award. Internally practising his awards speech every time he went to the loo, which was probably many times as The Oscars is a long ceremony and the drinks are plentiful.
Then hearing that syllabically pleasing name announced to the masses, the 'cellar door' of acting names: Leonardo DiCaprio. Feeling that vibrant victory tree decompose into a hot flush of red bursting into your cheeks, visible only on your pursed, spittle covered lips and those empty eyes. ‘I did this to myself,’ he’s thinking, ‘I did it to myself, trapped in my own self-indulgence. I will never dream again, for dreaming is for losers.’
The pathetic back slaps from your friends and colleagues, "Don't worry about it Matt, it's just one of those years... plus, it's not like you don't already have an Oscar, sure you shared it with Ben Affleck but you're basically the same person anyway so it's more or less just your award." Staring back at them glassy eyed and nodding, Matt Damon, briefly considering to never act again, nonchalantly shrugging in that Matt Damon way. Good ol' classy Matt Damon, handsome and strong like the bear that finally propelled Leonardo DiCaprio to Oscar winning glory.
"Come on Matt, lets go get a drink... awards don't mean anything anyway," said Ben Afleck. Probably.
"Na, you're alright, I'm pretty hungry to be honest, I think I might get off and get some food. It's late, I'm tired, I didn't sleep very well last night. I guess I was just too excited for Leo. I just want to eat and crash out, shall I book us an Uber?"
"Erm... no, you go ahead, I think I'll stick around for a bit. Leo's probably having some kind of sweet party with all those supermodels and Tobey Maguire..."
"But, Ben we could talk about that screenplay..."
"Ah, come on Matt, you know how great Leo's parties are... next weekend?
"Sure, we could watch the game or something..."
"Sure, Matt, sure, we'll watch the game."