Dylan O'Brien in 'Love and Monsters'. Picture: Netflix
Dylan O'Brien in 'Love and Monsters'. Picture: Netflix

SA filmmaker Michael Matthews talks about Oscar nod for ‘Love and Monsters’

By Kedibone Modise Time of article published Apr 9, 2021

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South African filmmaker Michael Matthews says he is honoured to have scored an Oscar nod for his Hollywood film, “Love and Monsters”, a fun, adventurous film that has been dubbed “one of the best surprises of 2020”.

The film has been nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 93rd Academy Awards, which will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 25.

Matthews said: “There were so many people involved in bringing the monsters and world of the film to life. So, it’s awesome to see that hard work acknowledged.

“I was really surprised to be honest because I didn't expect to be nominated... It was a great feeling.”

With a career spanning over 15 years, Matthews said he felt really fortunate and honoured to have his work recognised globally.

“It's a really fun movie. It’s an adventure, a bit of a coming-of-age. And it's got a lot of good comedy and crazy monsters.

“So it's a feel-good, end-of-the-world monster movie, but it's funny and heart-warming.

“I loved the process of designing and conceptualising the creatures, as well as the long technical process, seeing that vision through to the end.”

Matthews said the movie received a great reception since its world premiere in 2020 and he’d been waiting in great anticipation to share it with the rest of the world, but he’s most excited that the film is finally coming to South Africa.

“It has been a big journey, creating a film like this, so it will be really exciting to finally watch it with friends and family at home, in South Africa.”

He encouraged South Africans to watch the movie.

“I think because the adventure of it is really classic. And it reminds me of films I grew up with, like ’Jurassic Park’ and ’Indiana Jones’ and the ’Goonies’.  

“It’s really a good, all audience kind of movie.”

Produced by Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen, the film stars Dylan O'Brien, Jessica Henwick, Dan Ewing, Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt.

While it had been due for a global theatrical release in February, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Paramount changed this to a digital release, selling the international distribution to Netflix.

“Love and Monsters” is set in a monster-infested version of the world and tells the story of Joel Dawson (O’Brien), who, along with the rest of humanity, has been living underground ever since giant creatures took control of the land.

After reconnecting by radio with his high school girlfriend Aimee (Henwick), 120km away at a coastal colony, the young passionate Joel decides to embark on a long hazardous journey alone to be with the girl of his dreams, encountering interesting characters and dangerous monsters on the way.

The film is Matthews’ first studio film for Paramount Pictures and his first Oscar nomination.

Catch “Love and Monsters” on Netflix, on Wednesday, April 14.

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