Departed for Best Picture

The reason I haven’t put The Departed into the Best Picture category in the Oscar Balloon is that there’s not a whole lot going on underneath. It doesn’t have any kind of human-condition theme that hatches and builds and sticks to your ribs after it’s over. But did The French Connection, which won the ’71 Best Picture Oscar, have any kind of theme? Not that I can remember. Shouldn’t pure moviegoing pleasure — the kind that comes from a film that’s knows what it’s doing and how to deal it, and is therefore totally confident and well-ordered — be one of the criteria that qualifies a film for Best Picture? Maybe The Departed should be one of the nominees on this basis.

16 thoughts on “Departed for Best Picture

  1. Doug Pratt on said:

    It was the portrait of obsessiveness on the part of the hero that made The French Connection more than just a New Wave cop film.

  2. Comment: Departed SHOULD be considered seriously by the Academy for Best Pic. Doubtful that it will. But there we are. >>>
    As I’ve noted on this blog before, “GoodFellas” wasn’t a typical Oscar picture either, and yet…six noms: Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress.
    Obviously, there are a lot of films to come, but “The Departed,” as we agree, is definitely the class of 2006 among movies released, to date. It clearly features the best work of the year, to date, in five of the above-mentioned categories and is second only to Streep/”Prada” in Supporting Actress, imho, assuming Streep is run in that category. Additionally, “The Departed” boasts the year’s best Lead Actor work and Cinematography.
    My guess is that after the last Oscar-eligible film is released, “The Departed” will still *warrant* seven Academy Award nominations.
    I could care less if it wins any, as I’m a little past thinking the Academy will actually cares about rewarding the actual best films of the year, but respect must be paid in the nominations.

  3. Every once in a while, there’s an action movie, which resonates with the academy, remember THE FUGITIVE?
    Nominations for
    Best Pic
    Best Cinematography
    Best Editing
    Best Original Score
    Best Sound
    Best Sound Effects Editing
    and of course a win for
    BEST TOMMY LEE JONES…

  4. And there’s the irrefutable Scorsese factor, which may help explain why AVAITOR & GANGS got so many nominations.
    Not to mention the guilt factor as MS has yet to win an Oscar.
    DEPARTED doesn’t seem to be the kind of movie that wins Oscars. The reviews seem strong, which are a must for consideration.
    It’s obvious that Scorsese will win eventually (although great directors like Hitchcock, Chaplin, etc. never did). He’s still at the top of his game in my mind.
    And this film will make money, no doubt about that. So they’ll be plenty of future Scorsese films to choose from.

  5. Goings on under the surface? Hello Jeff! If memory serves “Chicago”, the king of the meaningless and the trite, won Best Picture just a couple of years ago. Hell, it even had a song, I believe it was called Razzle Dazzle, about how completely vapid it was.

  6. I don’t know… DEPARTED deals with themes of identity, but most importantly – and most timely – it deals with the concept of just what is right and what is wrong. Is it OK to do very bad things – as Leo does – for good reasons?

  7. I can see it getting nominated for its screenplay and maybe for Scorsese (which would just be cruel since he won’t win again) and even Jack Nicholson, but I just didn’t see any fantastic Oscar worthy performances in the movie… except maybe for Wahlberg, everyone’s doing what we’ve seen them do so many times before. It’s really the script and direction that elevates the movie above simple action movies… but is it as stirring and riveting as The Fugitive or The French Connection? I say “No”. There’s a lot of movies to come that no one has seen yet… Flags of our Fathers, Babel (for those who haven’t seen it yet), Good German, Good Shephard, Blood Diamond, Dreamgirls, Children of Men (already playing in Europe) that look like they could be just as strong contenders and it only takes four of those to knock out Departed.
    As I’ve said before and I’ll say again, Scorsese’s last two movies were very ambitious… you could see the quality of his direction on the screen… The Departed? Not so much. It’s really more about the screenplay and how it adapted Infernal Affairs into a Boston setting.

  8. My guess is that Scorsese WILL get a directing nomination, but will lose the Best Picture nom to something more impersonal, like THE QUEEN or DREAMGIRLS.

  9. Wells to Tedward: The Departed is a major topic at the moment with a very big headwind. Why should I chill about it? DepartedDepartedDepartedDeparted DepartedDepartedDepartedDepartedDepartedDeparted
    DepartedDepartedvDepartedDepartedDepartedDeparted
    DepartedDepartedDepartedDeparted…etc.

  10. Why wonder about The French Connection? A few years later The Sting won Best Picture. It was delightful, but about an inch deep.

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