The reason I haven’t put The Departed into the Best Picture category in the Oscar Balloon is that there’s not a whole lot going on underneath. It doesn’t have any kind of human-condition theme that hatches and builds and sticks to your ribs after it’s over. But did The French Connection, which won the ’71 Best Picture Oscar, have any kind of theme? Not that I can remember. Shouldn’t pure moviegoing pleasure — the kind that comes from a film that’s knows what it’s doing and how to deal it, and is therefore totally confident and well-ordered — be one of the criteria that qualifies a film for Best Picture? Maybe The Departed should be one of the nominees on this basis.