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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Oscar Watch Continues: The Departed Delivers

Martin Scorcese's film The Departed is nominated for the Oscar in 5 categories:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Best Supporting Actor (Mark Wahlberg)

Here is a movie that is 2.5 hrs long, and you'll not believe it. The plot moves fast and never gives the viewer a moment's breathing space.

The actors are all at the very knife's edge in their games, and thanks to Scorcese, who is above all an actor's director, are able to deliver their full potentials. If DiCaprio (whom I, frankly, don't usually care for) wasn't nominated for Best Actor in Blood Diamond, which I've yet to see, he would have been nominated for this performance—it is his maturest and most complex performance yet. Everyone in the film is believable and so invested, it is impossible for the viewer not to buy their performances wholesale.

I cannot get into the plot, for fear of spoiling the movie for those who have yet to see it. The script is complex, and with a lesser director than Scorcese, could easily have fallen apart. Scorcese holds all the fragile threads of this film in his masterful grip, and delivers a flawless tapestry. Scorcese's long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker edits the film with unbelievable finesse. She is what all film editors should aspire to be: the invisible magician behind the curtain. I doubt I'm wrong in predicting this Oscar will go to her.

I haven't yet seen all of the films in the Best Picture and Best Director categories. I would not be sorry if both Oscars went to The Departed. The Academy, however, has never seen fit to give the Oscar to Scorcese, even though past masterpieces like Kundun (1997) would well have deserved it—and he is up against Academy favorite, Clint Eastwood. So chances are slim, if I were to guess pragmatically.

But, the long story short: this movie is all-around excellent. Your money and your time will be well spent on and with this movie. A.

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Blogger SzélsőFa said...

Your review was encouraging me more into seeing it than the trailer I've just seen.

February 23, 2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

I was blown away by this film. "Aviator" was the first film that I liked Leo in, but even in that one he irritated me. His performance was spot on here. I actually feel bad for Damon. His performance was the most complex, and he did a phenomenal job with it.

I hope Marty wins it this year. After all the times the academy has overlooked him, he deserves it.

February 23, 2007 10:01 AM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

I realize I wasn't that clear. I feel bad for Damon because he wasn't nominated.

February 23, 2007 10:02 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Yeah, I thought Damon did a great job as well. Did you happen to see "Inside the Actors Studio" with him? He is so eloquent and, simply, brilliant.

I hope this is Scorcese's year as well - if I had to name one (living) director I would love to work for, it would be Scorcese.

February 23, 2007 1:22 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Mm, just realized my review didn't say it, but I would have nominated Damon over Wahlberg (not to take anything away from Mark, but Damon's performance was more deserving).

February 23, 2007 1:40 PM  
Blogger stefanie said...

I am so behind in my Oscar-nominations viewing. I am going to an Oscar party tomorrow, and I feel wholly unprepared!!

February 24, 2007 2:35 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

No worries, I am too - I won't have seen all I would have wanted / shoulda seen by tomorrow night. It was a strange movie year, so a lot of the nominees I had no interest in seeing while they were in the theatres. Next year I'm starting earlier on my "mandatory" watch list ^^.

February 25, 2007 1:52 AM  

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