by Rick Rockwell
Congratulations to Martin Scorsese for his long-overdue nod as Best Director at tonight’s Academy Awards for The Departed.
Also congratulations to Helen Mirren as Best Actress for The Queen.
Some know this blog has a been more than inconsistent when it comes to film reviews and some of the nominated films and performances were out before this blog was even an idea.
And we can’t rightfully comment on the field when we haven’t seen all the nominees. (For instance: Forest Whitaker, in The Last King of Scotland, who won for Best Actor. That will have to be on the calendar soon.) This rather lazy writer actually took in The Queen (recently) and The Departed (soon after its release) and did not write a word about them until now – seeing them both as just pure entertainment.
The Departed won four awards, including Best Picture, and it is a great gangster film – appropriate that Scorsese would win that way. He should have had Martin Sheen, Matt Damon, and Mark Wahlberg in his cast before now, although it is easy to stick with the likes of Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci.
Go see The Queen to watch the acting craft at work. Mirren has Queen Elizabeth II down cold from her farmwoman’s gait to the fantastic scene where the queen is telling off Tony Blair (played by Michael Sheen) on the phone while arranging her collection of exquisite pens. By the way, Mirren is just as good, if not better, in the HBO-BBC miniseries Elizabeth I. Some trick playing two important queens in the same year and nailing both performances.
As for films we did write about here:
Please check Caitlin Servilio’s review of Pan’s Labyrinth, which won three Oscars for cinematography, art direction, and makeup.
Also, please see the review of Babel by Allison Dunatchik (who unfortunately is no longer part of our writing team). Babel won an Oscar for best original score.
Congratulations to all the winners, and next year, for the 80th Academy Awards, we will attempt to review all of the top films.
(Main promotional poster from the Internet Movie Database [IMDb]. Smaller Oscar graphic from Alan Light of Flickr using a Creative Commons license. To see a promotional trailer for The Departed, please check below.)
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by Rick Rockwell