Monday, October 09, 2006

Scorsese is back!

His new movie “The Departed” kicks mucho ass! Jack Nicholson is back too and in fine form as a sleazy ganglord (with a few signature Jack flourishes, like a giant prosthetic penis that press reports indicate wasn’t in the shooting script).

Also showing up in elder-statesman roles are Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin as veteran cops, but this movie belongs to Nicholson and the Boys’ Club of Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon and – much to my surprise – Leo DiCaprio.

Yes, that Leo DiCaprio.

Scorsese’s finally gotten his first convincing performance out of DiCaprio after allowing Leo to stink up both “Gangs of New York” and “The Aviator.” Both movies had elements to recommend them (Daniel Day-Lewis and Kate Blanchett, respectively), but DiCaprio sure as hell wasn’t one of them.

This movie’s two and a half hours fly by, even without any of Scorsese’s usual set-piece single-take steadicam shots. This is about character, plot and environment, and Scorsese dials back his usual directorial hamminess (which I love, don’t get me wrong) to tell this story of crooked cops and robbers in contemporary Boston.

I haven’t seen that many movies this year (parenting is a double-overtime-without-pay job as it turns out), but this is the first Great one, and probably Scorsese’s best since “Goodfellas,” definitely his best since he started using DiCaprio in every project.

I’m already beginning to get depressed, trying to imagine what populist, feel-good dreck (paging “Forrest Gump”…) will deny Scorsese his Oscar this year.


Blogger ClizBiz said...

It's always nice to be surprised by an actor who normally disappoints. I felt that way about Tom Cruise in "Mangnolia."

Also, I love your homage to Cate's performance by misspelling her name.

5:01 PM

Blogger Fang Bastardson said...

Oh bloody hell!

Well, the misspelling stays. I fretted over her last name and completely spaced her first name. Figures...

5:11 PM

Blogger carrie_lofty said...

What does everyone have against Leo? I sure as hell didn't like him in The Aviator or GONY, but just because some idiots mis-cast him doesn't mean he is talentless. Same goes for Jude Law. Basketball Diaries, Gilbert Grape - he's good. Just suffers from Hollywood superstar syndrome whereby either he or his people seem to believe he can "stretch" to fit other roles (seems to happen most often with pretty boys who want to be taken seriously). The old greats knew they couldn't and they stuck with what they did best. Maybe Clark Gable wanted to try his hand at the role of Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, but they sure as hell didn't let him try.

But good - glad to know this one is a film on my list actually worth seeing. Can't wait to hear Matt Damon being all Southy again. Sigh...

7:33 AM

Blogger Fang Bastardson said...

No, I loved Leo in “Gilbert Grape” and talked myself blue in the face defending his “Titanic” performace. But in the other stuff I’ve seen him do, mainly the earlier Scorsese pictures, he just seemed overwhelmed, out of his league.

I was disappointed in “Basketball Diaries,” but that was probably just because I’d read the book. Maybe “The Departed” is the Rubicon for Leo, and henceforth all his performances will be credible. I hope so, ‘cause mmmm boy he shore is purty!

8:12 AM


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