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Best Picture Breakdown: The Departed

From now until the 2007 Oscars air this Sunday night, I'll be breaking down each Best Picture nominee and giving you the scoop on why certain movies might win and why others probably don't have a chance. Yesterday, we looked at The Queen, and today's featured movie is The Departed.

Upon leaving the theater after seeing this movie, I immediately declared it the surefire Best Picture winner. I've since revised my prediction and chosen Babel, but I'm still secretly pulling for this highly entertaining Scorsese picture. As I've said before, The Departed really gives me chills, not because it's disturbing, but because it's such a fun ride, not to mention a great story bolstered by incredible performances. As for The Departed's chances in the Best Picture category,

Why It Might Win

  • Frankly, it's just the kind of movie Oscar loves: well-crafted, critically acclaimed, and mighty in its scope.
  • People like the people involved: The Departed has the added benefit of a respected director and an all-star cast.
  • The movie is serious but also fun to watch, with lots of clever dialogue. Seriously, did anyone find The Departed dull?
  • It's already racked up tons of critics awards: 35 overall, eight of which were for best picture.

Why It Might Not Win

  • Some voters might consider it too violent. While the bloodshed wasn't what I remembered most about The Departed, it was an aspect that stuck with many viewers.
  • The Academy doesn't usually venture into the action genre, and this thriller borders on dude movie. Then again, that didn't hurt Gladiator.
  • It hasn't gotten a lot of other Oscar nominations. Aside from Mark Wahlberg, who is up for Best Supporting Actor, none of the other cast members are being honored with nods, and the movie has just five total nominations. Plus, if Scorsese wins Best Director as you all hope he will, the voters could very likely hand the Best Picture statuette to Babel.

Chances of Winning: Good

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

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