"When you get a screenplay and it says on the cover ‘By Matt Damon and John Krasinski; to be directed by Gus Van Sant,' you clear your desk and you read it," Focus Features' James Schamus announced to the fashionable crowd at last night's premiere of Promised Land. The film starts Damon and the ever-likeable Frances McDormand as representatives from a natural gas company trying to convince small town folk (Rosemarie DeWitt, Scoot McNairy) to let them use their farmland. "Calling this a fracking movie is kind of like calling Good Will Hunting a movie about mathematics," Schamus assured the audience. "It's a movie about people, and that's the hallmark of Gus Van Sant's work."
Schamus was certainly not alone in his enthusiasm —every New Yorker from Patricia Clarkson, Michael Pitt, and Stanley Tucci (Krasinski's brother-in-law!) to Francesco and Alba Clemente, Robert Kennedy, Jr, and Ethan Coen crowded into the Loews at Lincoln Square (or outside the Loews at Lincoln Square) to support their filmmakers. We were particularly impressed by Gus Van Sant, who seemed to know every individual in the room.