Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Warms the Heart

Putting aside any snark for the NYT's article today on Naomi Novik having "just sold" the film rights to her Temeraire series to Peter Jackson (which the author reported on her own blog nearly a month ag0), it's just thrilling to see a debut author, especially one whose first novel didn't receive nearly the hype as many others, achieve such success. I read HER MAJESTY'S DRAGON--haven't read the next two in the series--but damned if this isn't something every writer dreams of.

HUGE congrats to Naomi (and to Peter Jackson, of course, because these should make fantastic movies).

On another note, I saw "The Departed" last night. One of the best movies I've seen this year, if not the best. If this doesn't get a slew of Oscar nominations there's no justice in the world. At the very least, Jack Nicholson, Leo and Marky Mark should all be considered for acting noms, Martin Scorsese (duh) for direction, and William Monahan for a flat-out gangbuster script. If this loses out to some pretentious drek to appease old fogey voters who can't stand violence (like the travesty of "Shakespeare in Love" winning over "Saving Private Ryan") I might have to pull a Frank Costello and beat someone to death with my shoe.

I'm not a big fan of either actor, but Leo and Marky knocked their roles out of the park. Leo as a cop, despite being born into a family of criminals, who goes undercover as the protege of ruthless mob boss Frank Costello (Jack), and has to cope with his family history as well as the fact that any day could bring a bullet with his name on it. Marky plays Martin Sheen's pitbull deputy on the Boston State Police, who brings such the most energy and humor to this kind of role since Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas." Easily Marky's best performance since Dirk Diggler (and that's a compliment). Great story, great storytelling, and enough terrific scenes to keep you talking about it long after the film ends.

7 Comments:

Blogger Allison Brennan said...

I'm glad you blogged on THE DEPARTED, I blogged about it on Monday. I agree, it's the best movie of the year. It's funny because I'm not a huge fan of any of the actors (they're fine, just not "OMG, I have to go see him" actors), but they all nailed their roles. The script hands down better win. I'm not holding my breath because the Academy rarely does what I want it to do.

You didn't mention Matt Damon. I thought Colin Sullivan was a brilliant creation. I'm not a huge fan of Damon, (though I'll take him over Ben Affleck any day of the week), but he portrayed Sullivan to a T. But I agree with you on everyone else, too. Leo has really broken out of his mold with this movie (and beefed up some which never hurts ;) . . . and well, Jack is Jack.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I couldn't agree with you more about The Departed ... I'm afraid Mr. Scorsese might just get passed over again at Oscar time because the Academy has shown a strong resistance to rewarding movies that are actually fun to watch! .. On the acting front, I'd give the nod to Leo, by a nose over Jack

6:21 PM  
Blogger Allison Brennan said...

I agree, Reel. Jack was Jack. Great actor, great role for him. Leo went above and beyond, I thought taking a complex character that could have been cookie-cutter and really making him work.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Bryon Quertermous said...

Add my agreement to the pot of praise about this movie. I love Matt Damon as an actor when he really lets loose his Southie accent. What's funny is that in the theater I saw the film, one of the trailers was for Leo's next movie in which he has an awful South African accent. After that I was rather shocked at how well he pulled off the Boston accent. I loved Jack Nicholson because, for once, he wasn't being Jack Nicholson.

11:03 PM  
Blogger LampLighter said...

Absolutely agree re THE DEPARTED. Haven't been that nailed to my seat since DIE HARD. Leo did a fantastic job and deserves a nomination. And Marky Mark was so transformed that I didn't even recognize him until well into the film. This after just seeing him in the football movie where he was in every scene. I think I have to see this one again because there were so many little moments and so much going on that I probably missed a lot. This film isn't for the faint-of-heart but is surely a gift for those of us who enjoy a well-acted, meaty story.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Sara Hope said...

I wasn't planning to see The Departed, as I was afraid I'd view it with a prejudiced eye, having already seen and enjoyed Infernal Affairs. However, I've heard so many good things about TD that I might give it a shot.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

THE DEPARTED: Best remake in ten years, best Scorsese in twenty years, and best cast in thirty years. Damn, it's good.

6:45 PM  

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