Best Picture #79: The Departed

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were films that were superior in terms of quality and/or impact that were not nominated). This week’s entry is The Departed (2006).

That anyone could view this as lesser Scorsese is mindblowing to me. Though I’m inclined to agree with Ted Lasso that The Color of Money is Mr. Scorsese’s finest work, The Departed feels like the culmination of decades of his other films, finally making the movie that’s a comedy first and a mob flick second. It’s a series of absurd situations with a dense plot that gets conveyed expertly at such a breakneck pace it takes a few viewings for the humor to fully set in but, when it does, the vulgar spirit of Boston fills the room and Mark Wahlbergisms become earworms that replay in my mind for days. Almost every line seems perfectly calibrated to drive a laugh and ramp up the tension and the rapid fire dialogue from the likes of Alec Baldwin brings out the best in actors that sometimes fail to impress. 

The Real Best Picture:

What do you think you rat fuck? A better film hasn’t been made since.

Best Picture Winners

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