Scorseseâ€™s edgy neo-realism drives â€œThe Departedâ€ to four Academy Awards including best picture
By Jeffrey Jolson and P.J. Stratton forÂ Hollywood Today
HOLLYWOOD, CA (rushprnews) 02/24/07 â€“ Edgy cops and robbers tale, â€œThe Departed,â€ finally put Martin Scorseseâ€™s gritty street style into the Oscar history books, where every film student knows it has long belonged.
After being passed over for such influential pictures as â€œTaxi Driverâ€ and â€œGoodfellas,â€ he finally got his entrance into the Oscar Directors Club, with honors were handed to him by in a rousing moment at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. What made it taste even sweeter, was that the prize was presented by his longtime friends George Lucas, Steven Speilberg, and Frances Ford Coppola.In his acceptance speech he said, â€œCould you double check the envelope? Iâ€™m overwhelmed with this honor from the Academy! Also the honor of being presented by my old, old friends, we go back 37 years. Iâ€™m so moved. So much of this belongs to the cast. Jack Nicholson for his courage and his inspiration. Leonardo DiCaprio weâ€™ve worked together for 6 Â½ years. I hope another 12, another 15.â€The film also won awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing.The other big winners included Forest Whitaker, Best Actor for his stirring role as an African tyrant Idi Amin in â€˜The Last King of Scotlandâ€™He gave children a reason to believe when he said. â€œWhen I first started acting, it was because of my desire to connect to everyone.
To that thing inside of each of us, that I believe exist in all of us. Itâ€™s a connection so deep we can create a new reality.He added â€œWhen I was a kid the only way I saw movies was from the backseat of my familyâ€™s car at the drive-in. It wasnâ€™t my reality to think I would be acting in the movies. So receiving this honor tonight tells me that itâ€™s possible. It is possible for a kid from East Texas raised in South Central Los Angeles in Carson who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them, and to have them happen. â€Helen Mirren dedicated her Best Actress statuette to Queen Elizabeth for her sense of duty, her courage and her consistency. I thank her because if it wasnâ€™t for her, I most certainly would not be here. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Queen!â€ She said as she held up the Oscar.She also said about the Queen â€œNow you know for fifty years and more, Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity. Sheâ€™s had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head, her handbag on her arm and sheâ€™s weathered many, many storms, and I salute her courage and her consistency.â€She took the stage and her Oscar after kissing her husband, Director Taylor Hackford who was honored at the 77th Annual Oscarâ€™s for â€˜Rayâ€™.
This year it was her turn as she stated humbly, â€œMy sister told me all kids love to get gold stars. This is the biggest and the best gold star that I have ever had in my life.â€â€œThe Departedâ€ also won best adaptation for screenplay. Award winner William Mohanan said, â€œThanks to Marty [Scorcese] and Leo [DiCaprio] for reading the script and calling each other and saying, â€˜Letâ€™s make itâ€™â€¦.Everyone who worked on The Departed was, itâ€™s easy to say, was at the top of their game before they started, and under Martyâ€™s direction it only got higher after that.â€Thelma Schoonmaker, who won for editing the film, also spoke of the award-winning Director and cast: â€œThis is the third film youâ€™ve given the Oscar to that was made by Martin Scorsese, and believe me I know I wouldnâ€™t be standing here if it wasnâ€™t for him. You can understand what it was like to be given a film directed the way he directed this movie with a wonderful script by Bill Monahan, the fantastic panoply of actors who were just so magnificent. Working with Marty is quite something.
Â Itâ€™s tumultuous, passionate,funny and itâ€™s like being in the best film school in the world.â€Winners from the film Little Miss Sunshine spoke most eloquently. Alan Arkin, who won for best supporting actor, spoke about the film and his experience: â€œMore than anything, I am deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received. Which in these fragmented times speak so openly speak of the possibility of innocence, growth and connection.â€ He continued, â€œActing for me has always been and always will be a team sport. I cannot work at all unless I feel a spirit of unity around me. So my main sense of gratitude goes to the entire cast and crew and production team of Little Miss Sunshine for creating the same sense of joy and trust and community that the film speaks about.â€Michael Arndt, who won for the original screenplay, shared the history of the film: â€œâ€â€¦â€¦.when I was a kid, my family drove 600 miles in a VW bus with a broken clutchâ€¦.It ended up being the most fun things we did together.â€In a year that expanded Hollywood across the Globe,
â€œBabelâ€ received only one award for original score. Said winner Gustavo Santaolalla, â€œOur soul rests, I think,our own true identity, beyond languages, countries, races and religions. Iâ€™m so proud to work in Babel, a film that helped us understand better who we are and why and what are we here for.â€Melissa Etheridge won the Academy for best music written for motion pictures for her â€œI Need to Wake Upâ€ featured in documentary winner â€œAn Inconvenient Truthâ€: â€œMostly, I have to thank Al Gore for inspiring us, inspiring me, showing that caring about the Earth is not Republican or Democrat.
Â Itâ€™s not red or blue, we are all green. This is our job. Now we can become the greatest generation, the generation that changed, the generation that woke up and did something and changed. I love you all.â€In another music category, Michael Minkler, winner of highest achievement in sound mixing for Dreamgirls, thanked director Bill Condon for his inspiration: â€œYou crafted a film that was filled with dazzling performances, unforgettable songs from Henry Krieger, stylish effects from Richard Yawn, electrifying editing from Virginia Katz and some smokinâ€™ sound.â€
Accolades were also given to our military by Bob Asman who, with Alan Robert Murray, won best achievement in sound editing in â€˜Letters From Iwo Jimaâ€: â€œâ€¦.thank you to my father and all the brave, honorable men and women in uniform, who in a time of crisis have all made that decision to defend their personal freedom and liberty no matter what the sacrifice.â€Â -Sarah Ingersoll contributed to this report-