Best Movies of All Time + Vera Farmiga

DVD Challenge #14: THE DEPARTED

The Departed
Run-time: 2 hours, 31 minutes

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga, Ray Winstone & Alec Baldwin

It's been a little while since I've seen this former Best Picture winner, but it was high time that I sat down and gave The Departed another viewing. I'll never forget the first time I saw the film: I was living in Santa Cruz at the time, and my mother and some friends had driven up the coast to see me. They thought the best way to enjoy the company would be to take in a movie, so we opted to go with this Scorsese venture. And while I don't personally think it's the best of

Scorsese's films - for me, that would have to be 1976's Taxi Driver - but it was the one that finally garnered him an Academy Award win for Best Director. If you ask me, that has to say quite a bit.

What most people don't know is that The Departed is actually a bit of a remake, fashioned as an Americanized version of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. I personally haven't seen that particular film, so I can't really compare and tell you which is better, but with an all-star cast like the one we're given in this version, I think the original fare would be hard-pressed to be considered the better of the two. Let me break this down for you a little bit: just between the actors listed above, they have a whopping twenty Academy Award nominations and three wins (although, twelve nominations and all three wins belong to Nicholson). Still, that's quite an impressive roster that we're dealt. Wahlberg scored an acting nomination for his role in the film, but I personally believe that Nicholson was snubbed a bit as he delivers easily the best and most entertaining performance in the film. I could probably go on for days about how good each particular member of the cast proves to be, but that would take me literally days. Just know that you're given an all-star cast that delivers on all cylinders.

Now, I know there have been some individuals who had issue with the film's screenplay. Namely, they were a tad confused by the speed with which the film ends. To be fair, the final ten minutes

of the film pass at blinding speed, almost giving the audience no time to absorb everything they're seeing. Yes, it's frantic, but I personally think it offers just the right amount of catharsis needed for a film of this nature. The overall plot is so elaborate that the audience finds itself getting so worked into the story that we need some sort of drastic release at the end. This is where The Departed truly delivers. Sure, the journey towards the end is fantastic, but the ultimate payoff is the reason that this film has reached into the annals of film history and cemented itself as an instant classic.

We also get an utterly fantastic and innovative musical score from the likes of Howard Shore, who has also scored films like Se7en, The Aviator and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, he may have presented my favorite of his compositions with this film. Here's a little taste of what he brings to the table - I'd bet you that you'll enjoy it:

Overall, Scorsese definitely brought a winning combination of screenplay and acting to the screen for this Best Picture winner. It's a movie that definitely doesn't get old with multiple viewings, and in fact, I'm sure I've started to appreciate it all the more each time I watch it. If you haven't seen this film, you should drop what you do and give it a gander. I can almost guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Best All-Time: #106
Best Since 2000: #41

2006: 9 nominations, 2 wins

Previous DVD Challenge: TOY STORY (1995)

2006, action, Departed, drama, Howard Shore, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Scorsese, Martin Sheen, Matt Damon, Oscar win, Ray Winstone, and more:

Relevant to: DVD Challenge #14: THE DEPARTED + Vera Farmiga