Martin Scorsese's latest film "The Departed" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg isn't playing at the Toronto Film Festival. Yet, Miami Herald film critic Rene Rodriguez was invited for a sneak peak at the film and, if his opinion mirrors the rest of the cinema-going world, this film is first rate.
Here's what Rodriguez had to say,
I'm not supposed to write too much about the movie yet, so I'll just say that anyone who's been waiting for Scorsese to return to form after the Oscar-baiting turgidness of The Aviator
and Gangs of New York
won't be disappointed. I don't know how The Departed
will fare with Oscar voters: It's a cops-and-robbers genre piece, the kind of picture (The French Connection
aside) Academy members tend to look down on for not being serious or weighty enough. But this is Scorsese's best and most invigorating work since the underrated Casino
, if not GoodFellas,
as well as his most sheerly entertaining.
DiCaprio and Damon both give career-high performances; Jack Nicholson, playing a mob kingpin, makes poetry out of his eloquently profane dialogue (his lines often reminded me of the dialogue in Deadwood); Vera Farmiga, as a psychiatrist, lives up to her hype as the Next Big Thing; and in smaller roles, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen are all aces. I had heard grumblings that the absence of The Departed from any of the big fall film festivals implied that the movie was probably a stinker. That may be the case with some other upcoming films, but The Departed is class-A pulp - grave, resonant, psychologically complex and acted to the skies. I can't wait to see it again.