I don’t buy alot of movies since I use TiVo to catch and time-shift premium movie channel fare. Having said that, every so often there’s a movie so masterful that I want to see it again and hear more of its background and commentary. Recently, two movies fall into that category: The Departed and Blood Diamond.
I first saw The Departed a few months ago, and was awestruck. Jack Nicholson’s performance as a ruthless Boston gangster was brilliant; he didn’t just play Frank Costello, he became him. But Nicholson wasn’t the only standout — his performance was rivaled by that of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen. I’m embarrassed to admit that seeing The Departed helped me to (finally) appreciate Martin Scorcese’s talents as a director.
My favorite lines in The Departed –
Jack Nicholson (as Frank Costello) to young boy: “You do well in school?”
Nicholson: “So did I. (pause) They call that a paradox.”
The other film you simply should not miss is Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer, a former mercenary and smuggler from Zimbabwe. At first, I resisted this film — I thought it would be too difficult to suspend disbelief of Leonardo DiCaprio playing a non-American. When this film finally played on cable, I saw it and realized there was no effort required on my part: Watching Blood Diamond, it was difficult to imagine Leonardo DiCaprio as anything other than his character. His accent, his swagger, his general demeanor are all quite convincing. In the film, DiCaprio’s character becomes involved an idealistic American journalist (Jennifer Connelly), and with Solomon Vandy (played by Djimon Hounsou), a fisherman whose family has been kidnapped. Without spoiling the film, suffice it to say that Blood Diamond will change how many (including me) view the diamond trade.
Note that both films contain intense violence, but the stories they tell are riveting and worthwhile.