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"The Departed" gets Critics Choice Best Picture award

Martin Scorcese's gangland movie with Leonardo DiCaprio is the toast of Critics Choice, making it the frontrunner for Oscars nominations and nominees.




"The Departed," the Martin Scorsese-directed gangster movie won the 12th Annual Critics Choice award for the best picture of the year. Martin Scorsese won the prize for the best director. Coming barely a fortnight to the annual Oscar award nominations 2007, the Critics Choice awards gives a window to the hopefuls of the annual Oscar awards 2007. The Critics Choice awards were presented at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium at California. The Oscar awards will be presented at the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood, while the nominations and nominees to the Oscar run-up will be announced on January 23, 2007. The nominations will be announced at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.

Scorsese's "Departed" was also nominated for Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Supporting Actor, Jack Nicholson, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Writer William Monahan and Best Composer Howard Shore.

The Departed is a novel gangland movie. The Departed's script revolves around the Boston police's war with the underground. The police depute one of their bright cadets to the gangland to be their spy. Meanwhile, the gang leader sends one of his own hardened criminals into the police force to infiltrate it and gather information for the mafia. However, the story takes a twist once it becomes evident to both the cops and gangsters that there is a mole in the middle. Meanwhile, each of the agents in "Departed" become deeply consumed by their double lives and reach a situation where one has to expose the other to survive. Martin Scorsese tells the story of the gang war with the government in a touching way.

Some of the prominent actors in Departed are Leonardo DiCaprio, who appears as the undercover officer Billy Costigan and Matt Damon who acts as Colin Sullivan, the criminal in uniform. Other major "Departed" actors include Jack Nicholson (Frank Costello), Mark Wahlberg (Dignam), Martin Sheen (Oliver Queenan), Ray Winstone, (Mr. French), Vera Farmiga, (Madolyn), Anthony Anderson (Brown), Alec Baldwin, (Ellerby), Kevin Corrigan (Cousin Sean), James Badge Dale (Barrigan).

The following is the list of Critics Choice award winners - Oscar frontrunners - announced on Friday, January 12.

Best Picture: The Departed
Best Actor: Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland
Best Actress: Helen Mirren - The Queen
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
Best Acting Ensemble: Little Miss Sunshine
Best Director: Martin Scorsese - The Departed
Best Writer: Michael Arndt - Little Miss Sunshine
Best Animated Feature: Cars
Best Young Actor: Paul Dano - Little Miss Sunshine
Best Young Actress: Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine
Best Comedy Movie: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Best Family Film (live action): Charlotte's Web
Best Picture Made for Television: Elizabeth I
Best Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth
Best Foreign Language Film: Letters From Iwo Jima
Best Song: "Listen", Beyonce - Dreamgirls
Best Soundtrack: Dreamgirls
Best Composer: Phillip Glass - The Illusionist

This is the first time ever a Martin Scorsese movie wins two prestigious awards, one including the director. Scorcese joked: Its (Departed) the first I tried to make that has a plot.

Till now, "Dreamgirls" was supposed to be the front runner in the race for Oscar awards 2007. Sure enough, "Dreamgirls" won four awards- two for supporting actors and two for music. However, the double victory by "Departed" slightly dims the Oscar prospects of "Dreamgirls." Still, "Dreamgirls" carries with it a lot of popular support which the Oscar jury will find hard to ignore. Dreamgirls won best supporting actor for Eddie Murphy, best supporting actress for Jennifer Hudson, best song for "Listen," performed by Beyonce Knowles, and best soundtrack.

The Departed is a remake of a "Wu jian dao" (Infernal Affairs), a Hong Kong made in 2002. The story is written by William Monahan, based on the previous screenplay by Felix Chong and Siu Fai Mak. The lead role is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who has acted in blockbuster movies like Titanic and Aviator. His first movie was Critters in 1991, though he is known best for his performance in the 1997 movie Titanic. DiCaprio played Jack Dawson to the hilt and Titanic went on to become the top-grossing movie ever. The movie received 11 Oscar awards that year. Prior to "The Departed," Leonardo Dicaprio has worked with Martin Scorsese earlier in "Gangs of New York" and "Aviator," to movies which brought him wide acclaim. His upcoming 2007 movie is "Blink." Aviator won five 2004 Oscars awards.


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