Monday, February 19, 2007

Muriel Awards: The Golden Muriel for Best Feature Film

"After a couple attempts at white elephant, Oscar-chasing art, Scorsese retreats with a remake of a (barely noteworthy, in my opinion) Hong Kong crime drama and crams it full of stars for good measure. And whaddya know -- with the help of William Monahan's pungent script, he gets not only some of the best reviews of his life, but the biggest box office as well. See what happens when you stop trying and just do? (I think Kundun said that.) Nicholson's accused of scenery chewing, but, as The Departed's heart and soul, he's really gnawing at the edges of the film, like a rat... or a termite." ~ Kent M. Beeson

Marty’s comeback? Dude hasn’t gone anywhere; it’s the audience that refused to follow him- to 1870s New York , to Tibet , and so forth. That said, it’s good to see Scorsese jump back into the genre that more or less (ahem) made him, without sacrificing any of his style or verve. But Scorsese has always surrounded himself with able collaborators, and The Departed is no exception- William Monahan wrote the complex and gleefully salty screenplay, and the cast, made up almost entirely of Scorsese newbies, is as good as any from this past year. Some have complained that The Departed is too long, but I can’t imagine it working without the initial 90 minutes of buildup- it’s because Scorsese, Monahan, and the rest have laid the groundwork, establishing the principals and the conflicts, that once the reckonings come down and the bodies begin piling up, it means something rather than being simply a series of killings and plot twists." ~ Paul Clark


Bemis said...

Thanks, Paul and Steve. This has been a blast.

James said...

It has been fun to watch what times I was lock-step with the rest of the group and which times I was wayyyy out there. Pretty surprised by a The Departed win considering the tie-breaker email.

Paul C. said...

Funny you should mention that e-Mail. It turns out that one voter sent his ballot to me before the deadline but it didn't arrive until the day after. Since it wasn't his fault that it arrived late, I counted his votes, which tipped the balance THE DEPARTED's way. Although if you look at the points you'll notice that it was more or less a three-horse race to the end.

James said...

I figured that every voter would probably put it somewhere around the number five slot, but apparently it was more beloved than I had originally thought.

And from the tally, it appears I was the only person who voted for Babel at all! I'm reminded of how Crash had its rabid fans and relentless detractors.

Another surprise: only one vote for Little Miss Sunshine. Ditto Inland Empire. I'd like to see how the ballots read for this category!

Paul C. said...

No, you're about right that DEPARTED tended to be around #5 on average for the ballots on which it appeared. The points system I used gave 14 points for the #1 spot, 13 for #2, and so on. So 10 ballots for 103 points is a 10.3 average. Compared to 98 points on 8 ballots for CHILDREN and UNITED (12.25 average) or 52 points on 4 ballots for THE PRESTIGE (13 average).

And you should be too surprised about INLAND EMPIRE, since it hasn't been released in much of the US yet.

Greg Dunlap said...

Was I the only one without The Departed in their top ten? Its looking like I was. I would have put Pan's Labyrinth in at #2 if I had gotten to it in time.