Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Viola Davis and Chris Tucker scored an MVP standing ovation at South by Southwest on Saturday night with the closing night film “Air.” One year after “Everything Everywhere All at Once” debuted at SXSW on its way to seven Oscar wins, the Austin festival launched another major crowd pleaser. “Air,” directed by Affleck and written by Alex Convery, received not only rapturous applause when its credits rolled, but also sustained cheering throughout the inspirational film — particularly in scenes involving Davis as Deloris Jordan, negotiating with Nike’s Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) for her son’s worth.
The film follows the origin story of Nike’s Air Jordan shoe line, which began with Vaccaro’s strong belief in Michael Jordan (Damian Young) when he was just a rookie.
On top of directing, Affleck starred in the film as Nike co-founder Phil Knight, and he credited his co-stars for the pride he felt in the finished product. “My entire directing strategy is to find brilliant people and say, ‘Just do it!'” Affleck said in the post-screening Q&A, playing on Nike’s famous slogan. “I’m not kidding.
I feel like I just got to bear witness to all this performance and energy and their own authorship that they brought.” “I’m lucky enough to be part of telling this story that has a resonance about value and worth and things far beyond what I can pass for authorship, into the deeper parts of this country and how we regard ourselves and one another,” he continued.” Viola Davis — who Affleck called “the best actor in the world” during his opening remarks — said it was an honor to have played Deloris. “I think she was doing what we mothers do.Read more on variety.com
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