Richard Roeper is the latest addition to the Gold Derby Oscar panel, and aside from his expected Best Picture favorite being Flags of Our Fathers (which he may or may not have seen when he submitted his list), he’s got The Departed in his #2 slot — which is somewhat significant, I feel. On one level I feel like an idiot cheerleader yelling “Go, Departed!” but I’m sensing a real surge on behalf of this Martin Scorsese film.
A fellow journalist said, “Forget it…that 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating will drop after Wednesday night’s all-media in Manhattan.” Well, it’s down to 95% now, partly due to Jim Hoberman‘s half-admiring pan.
A tastily-phrased review by Entertainment Weekly‘s Lisa Schwarzbaum is worth a run-through. Departed director Martin Scorsese has created “a movie built on the foundations of GoodFellas and Mean Streets but not chained to it,” she says, “a picture that feels as effortless as The Aviator and Gangs of New York felt effortful. And that unclenching brings out the best in his instincts, which in turn allows him to bring out the best in his actors: Complicated, compelling Leonardo DiCaprio, for one, reaches a new career high in this, his third Scorsese picture.”
Roeper, by the way, is joining Gold Derby panelists Claudia Puig (USA Today), Pete Hammond (HollywoodWiretap.com, Maxim), Gene Seymour (Newsday), Art Spiegelman (Reuters), Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune), Michael Sragow (Baltimore Sun), myself, L.A. Times Oscar Beat columnist Steve Pond, Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), and Gold Derby honcho Tom O’Neil. Hey, that’s only 11…it should be an even 12, no?