Academy Awards Open Thread

Just watched The Departed this afternoon, and one thing is for sure- there won’t be a sequel.

I am really surprised that is a favorite- it really was not one of his best. Hell, it was no Goodfellas, which I still think set the standard for the modern gangster movie.






57 replies
  1. 1
    Andrew says:

    Just watched The Departed this afternoon, and one thing is for sure- there won’t be a sequel.

    Ha! Infernal Affairs, from which The Departed is basically cloned, has two sequel/prequel things which sort of defy classification.

  2. 2
    Jay C says:

    Heh – we also decided to check out the Oscar nominess pre-awards: including The Departed – Mrs. C & I had the same reactions: good, but not great: fine acting, top-notch direction; but ultimately a slow story (and a predictably bloody end). Scorsese is still a good shot to win, though: he is, after all, a long-time Hollywood insider. I’d say 3-1 odd at worst.

  3. 3
    demimondian says:

    I’ve seen none of them this year — been a really busy time at work — but I was awe-stricken by the promo shot of Helen Mirren as QEII, with the stiff neck and the thousand mile glare. Is it really as strong a performance as that head shot would indicate?

  4. 4
    demimondian says:

    Vanity Fair suggests a new set of awards: this years Scooters, for the year’s best political dramas:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/cult.....index.html

  5. 5
    Paul Wartenberg says:

    The problem is we can’t go back in time and change the votes in 1990 for the Best Picture and Best Director awards. I grant Dances With Wolves was a good film and it definitely deserved the Cinematography award it got, but it pales in comparison to Goodfellas in terms of 1) direction, 2) editing, 3) overall impact to filmmaking.

    Hollywood is looking for any excuse to give Scorcese an Oscar ever since the Goodfellas snub. Problem was the follow-up films just seemed so weak (Casino, Gangs of New York, Bring Out Your Dead), or had the misfortune of coming out when Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg were directing powerful films (Aviator, and he should have won for that, or the Age of Innocence, which he didn’t even get nominated for but hey that was the Schindler’s List year). The Departed is good enough to merit a win, altough everyone and their mothers will know it’s really for his career that he will be winning.

    All I know is, I’m tuning in tonight to see if the audience starts chanting “Draft Al” during the Best Documentary presentation… ;-)

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    Are you serious, John? It’s my favorite movie in ten years.

    It might be that you have to (a) have watched a lot of Hong Kong movies and (b) spent a lot of time in Boston to appreciate it.

  7. 7
    srv says:

    It might be that you have to (a) have watched a lot of Hong Kong movies and (b) spent a lot of time in Boston to appreciate it.

    I’m sure everyone in Hong Kong feels the same way about it. Not. Infernal Affairs was alot more interesting, and the characters had more than 1-dimension.

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    I didn’t see Internal Affairs, but I’ve seen a lot of the John Woo movies (Hard Boiled, The Killer, etc.) that have the same theme: two characters who are twinned, one undercover, the other a villain and I felt like if someone hadn’t seen this kind of movies it was probably hard to place the themes in The Departed. That’s all I’m saying.

  9. 9
    jg says:

    There’s a scene in The Departed where over Matt Damon’s shoulder you can see the front door to the house I grew up in.

  10. 10
    steve davis says:

    I spent the first thirty minutes of the movie not realizing that Di Caprio and Damon were two different characters. I thought they were just flashing back and forth between a bad actor with a scuzzy beard and the same bad actor without the scuzzy beard.

  11. 11
    Quiddity says:

    Alan Arkin wins for Best Supporting Actor.

    That’s great.

    He had a nice acceptance speech.

  12. 12
    srv says:

    Arkin Rocks.

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    So does this mean Al Gore isn’t running for President for real? :-p

  14. 14
    Fledermaus says:

    Jebus Christie, Goodfellas lost to m*f*in “Dances with Wolves”? In both best picture and best director? WTF?

    Is there no justice in the world? Woe is me.

  15. 15
    Fledermaus says:

    Jebus Christe, Goodfellas lost to fucking “Dances with Wolves” WTF?

    See, this is what is wrong with america!

  16. 16

    My favorite pop song used in a commercial is “You’re Gonna Get What You Need,” by Jet.

    “If you got a lady friend, I’ll take her downtown. Come on.”

    The best generatin’ of testosterone in the war to advance commercial sales. You’re gonna get what you need.

  17. 17

    My favorite pop song used in a commercial is “You’re Gonna Get What You Need,” by Jet.

    “If you got a lady friend, I’ll take her downtown. Come on.”

    The best generatin’ of testosterone in the war to advance commercial sales. You’re gonna get what you need.

  18. 18

    My favorite pop song used in a commercial is “You’re Gonna Get What You Need,” by Jet.

    “If you got a lady friend, I’ll take her downtown. Come on.”

    The best generatin’ of testosterone in the war to advance commercial sales. You’re gonna get what you need.

  19. 19

    My household’s Netflix is cluttered with VegiTales and the first season of that guy who’s a mathematiciam whose brother is an FBI agent. Should I open my own account to see those foreign flicks like the one about the Japanese deaf mute on vacation? Or is it, “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown?”

    Your call here.

  20. 20
    Tequila says:

    The ending of INFERNAL AFFAIRS is radically different from that of THE DEPARTED in a way that made a sequel logically possible. It was also a better ending.

    Also the prequel for INFERNAL AFFAIRS concentrated on the years of infiltration into the gang and the police respectively, in a way that THE DEPARTED spent much of its time showing already (a reason why THE DEPARTED was much longer than the original INFERNAL AFFAIRS).

  21. 21
    Edmund Dantes says:

    Someone already said it, but this was the Lifetime Achievement/We Fucked up those other times award for Scorese. They’ve been doing it a lot recently. The Robin Williams win for Good Will Hunting was a makeup Oscar for all the other times he played excellent parts.

    The Departed was good for what it was, but it was no Oscar caliber film. An Oscar film shouldn’t have me laughing at it’s absurdity unless it’s a comedy, and those are persona non gratas for nominations these days. Which is another thing wrong with the Oscar’s these days. This weird belief that to win an Oscar you have to make an “Oscar” film. Ugh!!

  22. 22
    norbizness says:

    I beg to differ: Johnny Dangerously set the standard for modern gangster movies, and Joe Piscopo should have gotten a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of Danny Vermin.

    But seriously, fuck the Academy sideways. And I mean with the movie Sideways.

  23. 23
    Gatchaman says:

    Agreed that Departed was great, but it does not rank that high against Scorcese’s best. Goodfellas is a movie I can watch over and over, Departed is not.

    Forget Goodfellas, Scorcese should have won for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and King of Comedy alone.

  24. 24
    Zifnab says:

    I agree, though. This looks like the classic “We apologize for not giving you a win earlier” award. What we really need is the Retroactive Oscars. Where we can give awards in hindesight. I mean, seriously, who the hell even remembers “Dances With Wolves”? Goodfellas is a pure classic.

  25. 25
    Jill says:

    Scorcese got an Academy Reward last night, not an Academy Award.

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    I’m disappointed you morons fail to see the genius of The Departed, though I readily admit that Goodfellas was better.

    Also disappointed that no one else has commented on the Pogues song that got played in the car commercial. Mac Buckets would have said something about it if he were here.

  27. 27
    Mr Furious says:

    Well said, jill.

  28. 28
    croatoan says:

    The Oscar isn’t for Best Scorsese Movie, it’s for the best movie this year.

  29. 29
    John Cole says:

    Love the Pogues.

    Christmas in the Drunk Tank is standard holiday music in my household.

    And the movie was good, Doug, but it was not hisbest work. I liked it, but I was suprised that people chose this to rave about when some of his other stuff has been far more powerful and far more groundbreaking.

    I mean, c’mon. Mean Streets? Taxi Driver? Raging Bull? Goodfellas?

    All of those are FAR superior to the Departed.

  30. 30
    Ezert says:

    http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00007121.html

    Mark Wahlberg has eagerly given Empire Magazine several additional details about the project, notably on progress to attach Robert De Niro in as a key character.

    They’re talking about bringing in De Niro to play a senator or a congressman,” the actor spilled the bean. “You know, the corruption obviously going deeper and higher up the ranks – reaching up the political chain. So it’ll be fun. And if it’s a success, they’re gonna do a prequel and bring everyone back… make it a trilogy.”

    In the meantime, Wahlberg also confirmed that screenwriter William Monahan is currently hard at work writing the sequel’s script while mentioning that filming on the flick could begin sometime at “the beginning of next year or end of this year.”

  31. 31
    Zifnab says:

    I mean, c’mon. Mean Streets? Taxi Driver? Raging Bull? Goodfellas?

    Clearly, he’s set the bar a bit high for himself.

  32. 32
    Anderson says:

    Evidently, I’m the only person who couldn’t even finish Goodfellas, which I found repulsive. Being a mobster is a hoot! Yeah!

    The Departed at least didn’t pretend that gangsters are just guys workin’ for a livin’.

  33. 33
    jg says:

    The Departed at least didn’t pretend that gangsters are just guys workin’ for a livin’.

    Then again The Departed wasn’t being told by a character who obviously was trying to justify his lifestyle.

  34. 34
    Paul Wartenberg says:

    croatoan Says:

    The Oscar isn’t for Best Scorsese Movie, it’s for the best movie this year.

    Well then hell this year really sucked.

  35. 35
    Krista says:

    Love the Pogues.

    Christmas in the Drunk Tank is standard holiday music in my household.

    Dude, the song is called “Fairytale of New York”. I agree with you, though, that it’s a fantastic song for the holidays, and for any time of year.

  36. 36
    Jake says:

    Also disappointed that no one else has commented on the Pogues song that got played in the car commercial.

    Reasons to avoid the Boob Tube Vol. XVI.
    Of course, after I heard The Violent Femmes being used to shill hamburgers I should not be surprised. Disgusted. But not surprised.

  37. 37
    CaseyL says:

    I thought this was a great year, whoever won, because there were so many astonishingly great movies and performances.

    That said, I was pleased for Scorsese and The Departed. I agree that Departed is better than Goodfellas because it is darker and more operaticc – also, it was one of the most amazing, high-octane casts ever seen in recent years.

    And, good lord, did DeCaprio grow up to be one helluva fine actor, or what? He amazes me.

  38. 38
    JImmy Mack says:

    I mean, c’mon. Mean Streets? Taxi Driver? Raging Bull? Goodfellas?

    All of those are FAR superior to the Departed.

    I don’t disagree. All that proves is that is no better than the fifth best movie of the last 25 years.

    I like it better than anything I’ve seen in at least 2 or 3 years. But the four movies you mention are among the greatest ever made, IHMO.

  39. 39
    JImmy Mack says:

    I don’t actually think it’s the fifth best movie of the last 25 years, mind you. I just think Scorsese’s best work is too high a standard. I like Departed much better than Gangs of New York or Casino, though.

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    I guess I blew my cover as Jimmy Mack once and for all. Oh, well — I made Darrell and EEEL look pretty stupid for agreeing with him, at least.

  41. 41
    Krista says:

    You gave up too easily, man. You could have done a whole side-story with JM hearing voices in his head, and arguing with them on the blog for the whole world to see. It would have been a stretch, but if anybody could have carried it off, it’d be you.

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    I thought I’d go out on the high note of Tim F explicity warning EEEL/Mac Buckets that Jimmy was an idiot and EEEl/Mac insisting on agreeing with him anyway.

  43. 43
    Zifnab says:

    :( Jimmy Mack was the sanest wingnut on these boards. *sigh* You’ve just crushed my vision of the not-crazy conservative, DougJ. Thanks.

  44. 44
    gus says:

    demimondian, yes Mirren’s performance is that good. Brilliant, actually. Anderson, you should have finished watching Goodfellas. Henry Hill gets off pretty easily, but the other guys get their just desserts. I haven’t seen The Departed, but I gather this is Scorcese’s lifetime achievement award. In a way I wish Peter O’Toole could have gotten one, too, but Forrest Whitaker’s performance was powerful.

  45. 45
    DougJ says:

    Dying to see Last King of Scotland. The fact that Whittaker’s performance wowed the Ugandan people says a lot.

    Mirren was great. Just a terrific performance and completely deserving of an Oscar.

    It sounds like justice prevailed in those two categories.

  46. 46
    Jay says:

    Jebus Christie, Goodfellas lost to m*f*in “Dances with Wolves”? In both best picture and best director? WTF?

    There’s still no bigger Oscar f**k up than when that piece of sheot movie ‘Titanic’ was given the Oscar for Best Picture over ‘LA Confidential.’

    And while ‘Forrest Gump’ was a very good movie, looking back it doesn’t hold a candle to ‘Pulp Fiction.’

    Scorsese was never rooked more than when ‘Ordinary People’ beat out ‘Raging Bull’ which is one of the best movies ever made.

  47. 47
    Krista says:

    There’s still no bigger Oscar f**k up than when that piece of sheot movie ‘Titanic’ was given the Oscar for Best Picture over ‘LA Confidential.’

    Agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed. Yes, I saw Titanic. Yes, I cried (not over Kate ‘n’ Leo, but over the elderly couple lying in bed holding each other as the water rose around them). But, it definitely doesn’t even come close to holding a waterlogged candle to L.A. Confidential.

  48. 48

    I really enjoyed Departed, and thought it was one of Scorcese’s better works.

    I didn’t care for Sheehn and Baldwin’s parts… and I thought the dynamic between Wahlberg and DiCaprio seemed odd.

    But it was good. Wahlberg in the last scene was top notch.

    The acting by DiCaprio, Damon, and Nicholson was simply incredible. I never really cared for DiCaprio, but after Departed and Blood Diamond I gotta say he’s incredible. My only suggestion for him would be to get into body building and beef up more if he wants to continue playing these action parts.

  49. 49
    Krista says:

    Haven’t seen Departed, but I’m sure my adoration for Alec Baldwin will continue undiminished.

  50. 50
    Anderson says:

    And the merits of Goodfellas aside, wouldn’t “the standard for the modern gangster movie” be set by, you know, The Godfather?

  51. 51
    DougJ says:

    I thought the dynamic between Wahlberg and DiCaprio seemed odd.

    It seemed like a pretty good depiction of shanty Boston Irish hanging out with lace curtain Boston Irish to me which is to say…yes, very odd.

  52. 52
    edmund dantes says:

    [blockquote]Jebus Christie, Goodfellas lost to m*f*in “Dances with Wolves”? In both best picture and best director? WTF?

    There’s still no bigger Oscar f**k up than when that piece of sheot movie ‘Titanic’ was given the Oscar for Best Picture over ‘LA Confidential.’

    And while ‘Forrest Gump’ was a very good movie, looking back it doesn’t hold a candle to ‘Pulp Fiction.’

    Scorsese was never rooked more than when ‘Ordinary People’ beat out ‘Raging Bull’ which is one of the best movies ever made.

    February 26th, 2007 at 3:22 pm [/blockquote]
    Ummm… yeah let’s not forget Shawshank Redemption getting jobbed that year either.

  53. 53
    MNPundit says:

    Being a middle-class Hispanic raised in the Upper Midwest I was not a huge fan of the departed because I could not relate to it at ALL. In fact, I got annoyed at the “Irish Catholic” style that permeated the whole movie.

    But there WILL be a sequel and it will follow Walberg’s character.

    Ah well, I prefer Infernal Affairs, Asian cinema tends to rock.

  54. 54
    Anderson says:

    Being a middle-class Hispanic raised in the Upper Midwest I was not a huge fan of the departed because I could not relate to it at ALL.

    What does that mean, exactly? I’m a middle-class Redneck raised in the Lower South, Protestant to boot, so with very little in common with the characters — but that wasn’t a problem.

    Is it because I’m white? Do Hispanics have little interest in movies about white people? What’s up with this?

  55. 55
    BIRDZILLA says:

    These awards shows are waste of time they olny go now to the far left-wing propeganda while else did they ignore THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST for such junk like MILLION DOLLAR BABY and SIDEWAYS and MICHEAL MOORE junk film BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE and AL GORE big ego trip A INCONVENT TRUTH

  56. 56
    Krista says:

    BIRDZILLA! We’ve missed you, you wacky beastie! Where on Earth have you been?

  57. 57
    YellowJournalism says:

    I’m so bummed I missed out on this discussion. I’m posting anyway, since I finally got to see this film and allowed myself to read this discussion.

    I agree with everything DougJ and other lovers of “The Departed” said. The movie is amazing. Matt Damon was robbed of an Oscar nomination just for the scene at the funeral whenh he’s looking at his girlfriend.

    Anderson missed the point of “Goodfellas” and should have watched it to the end. It really doesn’t paint a pretty picture of life in and out of the mob. Plus, the real Hill is a total loser who was full of himself while with the mob, and Scorcese kind of pokes fun of that at the end of the movie. Scorcese’s intention was to make the anti-“Godfather” because he felt that, while an excellent film and story, the “Godfather” series glorified and romanticized what the mob was really all about, according to what Scorcese grew up around in his neighborhood. Between the two, I love “The Godfather” more, though. (I also love “The Departed” more, but it’s not my favorite Scorcese film. That goes to “Age of Innocence”, which is highly underrated.)

    One of my greatest wishes is to spend a weekend watching movies with Scorcese and listening to him talk about film history and his favorite movies. The man is a walking, talking movie encyclopedia. One of my favorite documentaries on movies ever is a series on silent film director DW Griffith. It’s basically Scorcese talking about the birth of film and film narrative as we now know it. I love that he inserted DW Griffith homages into “The Departed” with the iris focus on Matt Damon not once but twice.

    There. I feel better now.

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