October 06, 2006
So I've finally seen The Departed...

I honestly cannot remember feeling so exhiliarated at the end of a Martin Scorsese movie. This pulls you in from the first scene and doesn't let go. William Monahan obviously deserves credit for a riveting and spellbinding script (improving on the original) but this is the sort of movie that is in Scorsese's blood and he creates a cinematic experience that is rarely rivalled. People are saying it's his best since "Goodfellas". I'd one up that and say it's his best since "Last Temptation" (if I'm admittedly one of about five people on this earth who thinks "Goodfellas" is great yet not a masterpiece).

Jack, of course, owns all. Yet he does so without chewing scenery nearly as much as one would think. I find it incredible he waited so long to work with Scorsese. Yet the wait could not have been more worth it. Oh yeah...and the rest of the cast is damn fine as well.

On a final note, Michael Ballhaus and especially Thelma Schoonmaker are receiving immense acclaim for their cinematography and film editing. And deservedly so. Their work ranks among the best of the year. Yet Sandy Powell's costumes and Kristi Zea's production design are also superb. Both artists resisted the temptation to showboat yet ended up doing work that served the story, creating character and atmosphere. This is the sort of craft work that rarely gets awarded...and that's really too bad. At least their guilds will hopefully cite them.


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