2006 stands apart as one of my favorite Oscar years because it was like this past year in a way. It’s rare that the film I personally WANT to win actually wins. It was made all the sweeter by my own instincts about it winning being right on the money, as opposed to what many of my colleagues thought – that it was too dark to win, that a movie where Leonardo DiCaprio died at the end couldn’t win, etc. But I had a feeling that if Scorsese got even remotely close to a crossover crowd pleaser he would slam dunk the thing without breaking a sweat. And that’s exactly what happened. It still makes me happy looking back on it.

I also had a great moment in the elevator at Warner Bros talking to their publicist about The Departed. He/She said “We’re not expecting it to do much.” They took out one singular FYC ad for that campaign, or maybe a few but they never went out too far on a limb with it. Perhaps because Warners had the Eastwood double Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Both films deserved to be recognized for Best Picture, in my opinion, but the critics only went nuts for the latter, which did end up getting/winning Best Picture. A few pundits even predicted it to win, but it was always the longest shot of the five nominees.

Despite what some modern (bored) critics say about The Departed it is easily one of Scorsese’s best, certainly among those where Scorsese and DiCaprio collaborated. With a brilliant, tight-as-a-drum screenplay by William Monahan, full of layers of symbolism about fathers, the church, child molestation, corruption – with a twin storyline that mirrors Matt Damon’s character with DiCaprio’s, The Departed was based on Infernal Affairs. That it was an American remake is another reason many underestimated its Oscar chances. It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of all time, one that I will watch at least twice every year for the rest of my life, I figure. Great great stuff.

In the end, Best Picture would come down to two films. The Departed (WGA/DGA) and Little Miss Sunshine (PGA/SAG). But Little Miss Sunshine did not get a directing nomination at the Oscars. And being that neither of them were Ben Affleck that made it (at that time) virtually impossible to win Best Picture. There were also only five Best Picture nominees, another reason why it would been unheard for Little Miss Sunshine to beat The Departed.

In order to alter perception, however, it was necessary to make people think Little Miss Sunshine was a genuine threat. In so doing, voters could then rally behind Scorsese and his long awaited win. Whether that reverse psychology tactic was used and effective or not is up for you Oscar watchers who were there at the time to decide. Those of us who think we know will carry it to our graves.

We’ll be talking either tonight or tomorrow so whatever you’d like to ask us be sure to mention it here.

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  • Joey

    Pan’s Labyrinth!!!

  • Al Robinson

    2006 is the year when Martin Scorsese FINALLY won Best Picture AND Best Director. I literally screamed out loud in happiness when they announced The Departed won Best Picture.

  • Brian S.

    Great Oscar race for sure. Don’t forget Babel, also like very much by the Academy (even with one win). The Queen was all Helen Mirren. Dreamgirls got way overhyped, which was why it didn’t get a BP nod. Hudson was a solid, and then there was Eddie Murphy losing to Alan Arkin because of how Norbit was so bad (it was).

    Pan’s Labyrinth was outstanding and haunting. Volver was incredibly moving. Letters from Iwo Jima had no chance of winning (Clint just won two years ago; this was Scorsese’s year). LMS was too cute for the Academy, but did put up a threat by win the PGA and SGA. Forest Whitaker in Last King of Scotland – only reason to see that movie. United 93 was too soon for the Oscars post 9/11, but it did deserve a Best Director nod.

    This was the first year I really invested myself in the Oscar race (I was 16 going on 17), and I am lucky to have seen justice that year with Scorsese’s win.

  • Al Robinson

    I’m trying a new approach with the Podcast previews:

    What they got right (in my opinion):
    Best Picture – The Departed
    Best Director – Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
    Best S. Actress – Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
    Best O. Screenplay – Little Miss Sunshine
    Best A. Screenplay – The Departed

    What they got wrong (in my opinion):
    Best Actor – Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland); I would pick Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)
    Best Actress – Helen Mirren (The Queen); I would pick Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
    Best S. Actor – Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine); I would pick Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children)

    What they missed:
    Best Picture nominees: Children of Men, Flags of Our Fathers, Pan’s Labyrinth, United 93.

  • Al Robinson

    I remember thinking that Best Picture was going to come down to The Departed vs. Flags of Our Fathers, (in late August). It did come down to Marty vs. Clint, but instead of Flags of Our Fathers, it was Letters from Iwo Jima.

    Question for the podcast: Since Flags of Our Fathers didn’t do well in theaters, and got mixed reviews, did Clint speed up the process to release Letters from Iwo Jima to get Oscar consideration?

  • Jason

    I love Scorsese, but I’m seeing a dark trend in his films and how he portrays African-Americans. Can someone state the counter?

  • Al Robinson

    Another question for the podcast: Why do you think United 93 got ignored for the major awards, especially Best Picture?

  • I love Scorsese, but I’m seeing a dark trend in his films and how he portrays African-Americans.

    Jason, Quick and sloppy counter-argument is that Scorsese films are very often told from the point of view of despicable sociopaths, many of whom have messed up racist attitudes. We’re not supposed to identify with those characters. We’re meant get inside their heads and see how screwed up they are.

    Beyond that, I’d say that Scorsese’s portrayal of White Americans is none too flattering either. He doesn’t make movies about cuddly people.

    Before I could give a more specific answer I’d want to know what specific portrayals you mean.

  • Al Robinson

    I looked at the entire year, and I came up with an even 10 for “Best Picutre”:

    Apocalypto – Mel Gibson – 2006
    Casino Royale – Martin Campbell – 2006
    Children of Men – Alfonso Cuarón – 2006
    Flags of Our Fathers – Clint Eastwood – 2006
    Little Miss Sunshine – Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris – 2006
    Stranger Than Fiction – Marc Forster – 2006
    The Departed – Martin Scorsese – 2006
    The Prestige – Christopher Nolan – 2006
    The Pursuit of Happyness – Gabriele Muccino – 2006
    United 93 – Paul Greengrass – 2006

    My pick would EASILY, but a million miles be The Departed. It’s so far better than everything else, 2006 actually makes me a little sad.

  • Al Robinson

    My top 5 of 2006:

    1. The Departed
    2. Little Miss Sunshine
    3. Stranger Than Fiction
    4. Flags of Our Fathers
    5. United 93
    6. The Prestige
    7. Children of Men
    8. Casino Royale
    9. Apocalypto
    10. The Pursuit of Happyness

  • Al Robinson

    Time to bitch a little:
    Jack Nicholson should definitelly have been nominated for his role as Frank Costello in The Departed. If I had been a voter, I probably would have voted for him, over Jackie Earle Haley.

    Question for the podcast:
    Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for Blood Diamond, but, do you guys think he really (instead), should have been nominated for The Departed?

  • Bryce Forestieri

    One of the better years of the decade. I cannot do without any of these titles — all mandatory. A joyous time for true cinephiles even if it was, admittedly, one of the most calamitous summers in the history of American cinema. Colossal year for meastro Jonnie To. Oh yeah, justice was finally served at the Academy Awards!

    The Essentials of 2006

    1. PAN’S LABYRINTH, Guillermo del Toro
    2. CHILDREN OF MEN, Alfonso Cuaron
    3. THE LIVES OF OTHERS, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
    4. TRIAD ELECTION, Johnnie To
    5. VOLVER, Pedro Almodovar
    7. THE HOST, Bong Joon-ho
    8. THE QUEEN, Strephen Frears
    9. REPRISE, Joaquim Trier
    10. THE DEPARTED, Martin Scorsese
    11. INLAND EMPIRE, David Lynch
    12. MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD, Daniele Luchetti
    13. THIS IS ENGLAND, Shane Meadows
    15. I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE, Ming-liang Tsai
    16. BLACK BOOK, Paul Verhoeven
    17. BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!, Guy Maddin
    18. STILL LIFE, Zhang-ke Jia
    19. FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY, Asghar Farhadi
    20. CASINO ROYALE, Martin Campbell
    21. LOVE AND HONOUR, Yoji Yamada
    22. PAPRIKA, Satoshi Kon
    23. NOTES ON A SCANDAL, Richard Eyre
    24. EXILED, Johnnie To
    25. MIAMI VICE, Michael Mann
    26. THE FALL, Tarsem Singh
    27. RED ROAD, Andrea Arnold
    28. HALF NELSON, Ryan Fleck
    29. BORAT, Larry Charles
    30. LITTLE CHILDREN, Todd Field
    32. HOLLYWOODLAND, Allen Coulter
    33. OLD JOY, Kelly Reichardt
    35. APOCALYPTO, Mel Gibson
    36. INSIDE MAN, Spike Lee
    38. LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, Clint Eastwood
    39. QUINCEANERA, Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmorland
    40. THE ILLUSIONIST, Neil Burger
    41. TEKKONKINKREET, Michael Arias
    42. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, David Frankel
    43. A SCANNER DARKLY, Richard Linklater
    44. ETERNAL SUMMER, Leste Chen
    45. ALPHA DOG, Nick Cassavetes
    46. FIND ME GUILTY, Sidney Lumet
    47. RUNNING SCARED, Wayne Kramer
    48. BUG, William Friedkin
    49. LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
    50. FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, Clint Eastwood
    51. LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, Paul McGuigan
    52. THE BLACK DAHLIA, Brian De Palma
    53. SUPERMAN RETURNS, Bryan Singer
    54. THE HISTORY BOYS, Nicholas Hytner
    55. BABEL, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu
    56. VENUS, Roger Michel
    57. THE PRESTIGE, Christopher Nolan


  • m1

    The Departed is an enjoyable, entertaining, dark film that is easily one of Scorsese’s better efforts. I’ve not been big on the movies he’s made so far this century but this is by far the best of them. A great plot, terrifying performances, darkly funny dialogue, and that killer ending make it a great movie to revisit. I think it’s easily DiCaprio’s best performance to date (at least of the ones I’ve seen). There are so many movies I have left to see from this year (Borat, The Last King of Scotland, Dreamgirls, Little Children, Blood Diamond, just to name a few), but here’s how my top twenty would shape up so far.

    1. Pan’s Labyrinth
    2. Letters from Iwo Jima
    3. The Lives of Others
    4. United 93
    5. The Departed
    6. Casino Royale
    7. Children of Men
    8. Little Miss Sunshine
    9. The Queen
    10. Notes on a Scandal
    11. Volver
    12. Stranger than Fiction
    13. Happy Feet
    14. Thank You for Smoking
    15. Flags of Our Fathers
    16. Cars
    17. The Devil Wears Prada
    18. Akeelah and the Bee
    19. Flushed Away
    20. Curious George

    Pan’s Labyrinth is a haunting fantasy/horror flick that brilliantly tests the idea that fantasy films can be made for adults (with strong stomachs). If Letters from Iwo Jima was the longshot of the 5 BP nominees then that’s a shame because I easily think it’s one of Eastwood’s best, a beautiful meditation on how Japanese culture shaped war as well as how the soldiers fought in it. The Lives of Others as an upset for Foreign Language Film was a fabulous alternative as it is the type of intelligent, emotionally rewarding thriller that Hollywood doesn’t give us enough of. United 93 was a tense docudrama, a success that Greengrass was able to replicate with Captain Phillips last year. Casino Royale is a respectably well-made Bond flick as Children of Men is a unique, fast-paced sci-fi about a dystopian world. Little Miss Sunshine is a sweet, well-acted family comedy that served as a precursor for the excellent The Kids Are All Right to get a BP nomination 4 years later. The Queen is a great film that I’ll need to revisit, and there’s no doubt that Helen Mirren is towering in it. Easily one of the most deserving Best Actress wins…ever. Notes on a Scandal was a great psychological study and an amazing showcase for Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. Volver is another great Almodovar film about female relationships and Stranger than Fiction proved that Will Ferrell does have the ability to do dramatic work. Happy Feet, your Best Animated Film winner and a great story about standing out and finding yourself. Thank You for Smoking, a funny satire about the tobacco industry. Flags of Our Fathers, a nice companion piece to Letters from Iwo Jima. Cars, lesser Pixar but still an entertaining movie. The Devil Wears Prada, an entertaining, sassy surprise with great chemistry between Streep and Hathaway. Akeelah and the Bee, Flushed Away, Curious George-all worthwhile family films.

    And finally I would rank the five BP nominees as such:
    1. Letters from Iwo Jima
    2. The Departed
    3. Little Miss Sunshine
    4. The Queen
    5. Babel (I don’t hate this film but it is bloated and depressing, which is not a good combination. Some of the character decisions in it don’t ring true, either. It has great moments and performances but there were better movies that should have taken its spot.)

  • Brian S.

    I completely forgot about Children of Men by Alfonso Cuaron. It was the Academy’s taste of what would become his next movie, Gravity.

  • Jason

    Not necessarily anything fact, but just the lack of attention, lack of characters, lack of extras that are Black, lack of Black people in general. And when you do see a Black person in his films, it’s always in a disrespectful, dark manner, which I agree with, is from the POV of the character, which Scorsese always goes after filthy and usually despicable protagonists. I’m not criticizing by any means, because Scorsese is a huge influence, and one of the reasons why I’m pursuing film/writing. But the more I think about his films and its attitudes towards Black people, it starts to raise a small but difficult concern. I’m totally with the mindset that he must portray stories and characters from the world he knows, but with all the hooting and hollering we do about diversity and equality, he’s not one that has resembled much. But I’m all up for starting a conversation on the matter. Not really motivated to lean one way or another… just a thought.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    “Babel (I don’t hate this film but it is bloated and depressing”

    I sort of agree! But even we can’t deny it, like THE PRESTIGE, are swell cinematic tricks that work you over at least for the very first time! These are the cinematic tricksters of our time, Gonzalez Iñarritu and Nolan!

  • Bryce Forestieri

    …at any rate, here’re my Awards Selections (ranked in order of preference)

    Best Director

    1. Guillermo del Toro – PAN’S LABYRINTH (w)
    2. Alfonso Cuaron – CHILDREN OF MEN
    3. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck – THE LIVES OF OTHERS
    4. Johnnie To – TRIAD ELECTION
    5. Pedro Almodovar – VOLVER

    Best Actor

    1. Ulrich Muhe – THE LIVES OF OTHERS (w)
    3. Thomas Turgoose – THIS IS ENGLAND
    4. Ryan Gosling – HALF NELSON
    5. Elio Germano – MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD
    6. Leonardo DiCaprio – THE DEPARTED

    Best Actress

    1. Laura Dern – INLAND EMPIRE (w)
    2. Penelope Cruz – VOLVER
    3. Carice van Houten – BLACK BOOK
    4. Helen Mirren – THE QUEEN
    5. Hediyeh Tehrani – FIREWORKS WEDNESDAY
    6. Kate Dickie – RED ROAD

    Best Supporting Actor

    1. Sergi Lopez – PAN’S LABYRINTH (w)
    2. Mark Wahlberg – THE DEPARTED
    3. Simon Yam – TRIAD ELECTION
    4. Stephen Graham – THIS IS ENGLAND
    5. Jackie Earle Haley – LITTLE CHILDREN
    6. Lee Pace – THE FALL

    Best Supporting Actress

    1. Carmen Maura – VOLVER (w)
    2. Rei Dan – LOVE AND HONOUR
    3. Shareeka Epps – HALF NELSON
    4. Viktoria Winge – REPRISE
    5. Cate Blanchett – NOTES ON A SCANDAL
    6. Doona Bae – THE HOST

    Best Original Screenplay

    1. Guillermo del Toro – PAN’S LABYRINTH (w)
    2. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck – THE LIVES OF OTHERS
    3. Bong Joon-ho – THE HOST
    4. Pedro Almodovar – VOLVER

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    1. Cuaron, Sexton, Arata, Fergus, Ostby – CHILDREN OF MEN (w)
    2. Luchetti, Petraglia, Rulli – MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD
    3. Tykwer, Birkin, Eichinger – PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER
    4. William Monaham – THE DEPARTED
    5. Todd Field, Tom Perrotta, LITTLE CHILDREN

    Best Film Editing

    1. Alfonso Cuaron, Alex Rodriguez – CHILDREN OF MEN (w)
    2. Patricia Rommel – THE LIVES OF OTHERS
    3. Thelma Schoonmaker – THE DEPARTED
    4. Bernat Vilaplana – PAN’S LABIRYNTH
    5. Kim Sun-min – THE HOST

    Best Cinematography

    1. Emmanuel Lubezki – CHILDREN OF MEN (w)
    2. Guillermo Navarro – PAN’S LABYRINTH
    3. Pen-jung Liao, Ming-liang Tsai – I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE
    4. Colin Watkinson – THE FALL
    5. Jose Luis Alcaine – VOLVER
    ————–Unforgttable all the same————–
    6. Barry Ackroyd – THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY / Hyung-ku Kim – THE HOST [tie!]
    7. Robbie Ryan – RED ROAD
    8. Benjamin Kasulke – BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! / David Lynch – INLAND EMPIRE [tie!]
    9. Dean Semler – APOCALYPTO

    Best Original Score

    1. Javier Navarrete – PAN’S LABYRINTH (w)
    2. Lee Byung-woo – THE HOST
    3. Alexandre Desplat – THE QUEEN
    4. Howard Shore – THE DEPARTED
    5. Tom Tykwer, Johnnie Klimek, Reinhold Heil – PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER

    Best Animated Feature

    1. Satoshi Kon – PAPRIKA (w)
    3. Michael Arias – TEKKONKINKREET
    4. Ricchard Linklater – A SCANNER DARKLY
    5. Gil Kenan – MONSTER HOUSE

    Best Production Design

    1. PAN’S LABYRINTH (w)
    3. THE FALL

    Best Costume Design

    1. THE FALL (w)
    5. THE QUEEN

    Best Visual Effects

    1. PAN’S LABYRINTH (w)
    3. THE HOST
    5. THE FALL

    Best Makeup: PAN’S LABYRINTH
    Best Sound Mixing: CASINO ROYALE
    Best Sound Editing: CASINO ROYALE

    Best Foreign Language Film

    1. Bong Joon-ho – THE HOST (South Korea)
    2. Joaquim Trier – REPRISE (Norway)
    3. Daniele Luchetti – MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD (Italy)
    4. Ming-liang Tsai – I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE (Taiwan)
    5. Paul Verhoeven – BLACK BOOK (Netherlands)

    Best Documentary

    1. James Langley – IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS (w)
    2. Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady – JESUS CAMP
    3. Jeff Feuerzeig – THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSON
    5. Sophie Fiennes – THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO CINEMA

  • I need Neil deGrasse Tyson to show me the worm hole to the universe where directors like Johnnie To get Oscar nominations.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    It is the Bridge to Terabithia where polygamy is legal! Cross it and you’ll find me living on a domestic partnership with Joe Gordon-Levitt and Kit Harington watching the *real* Oscar telecast happily ever after! <3

  • Kai Lor

    I enjoyed The Departed very much and was rooting for Scorsese’s long awaited triumph but after revisiting both The Departed & Infernal Affairs, I cannot believe I’m saying this but I actually felt the original had more weight. Both were entirely entertaining but I always felt the decision to merge the 2 female characters really amped up the soap factor with the whole love triangle subplot and felt the Vera Farmiga character ended up losing the type complexity that both Sammi Cheng & Kelly Chen’s characters were afforded in the original HK film.

  • Mr E

    “that a movie where Leonardo DiCaprio died at the end couldn’t win”


  • Mr E

    My awards selections (ranked 1 [preferred fav] through 6)

    Best Actor in a Leading Role
    1. Ryan Gosling as Dan Dunne in Half Nelson (2006)
    2. Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy Costigan in The Departed (2006)
    3. Ulrich Muhe as Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler in The Lives of Others (2006)
    4. Thomas Turgoose as Shaun in This Is England (2006)
    5. Clive Owen as Theo Faren in Children of Men (2006)
    6. Will Smith as Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

    Best Actress in a Leading Role
    1. Judi Dench as Barbara Covett in Notes on a Scandal (2006)
    2. Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006)
    3. Penelope Cruz as Raimunda in Volver (2006)
    4. Keke Palmer as Akeelah Anderson in Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
    5. Kate Winslet as Sarah Pierce in Little Children (2006)
    6. Beyonce Knowles as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls (2006)

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role
    1. Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland (2006)
    2. Djimon Hounsou as Solomon Vandy in Blood Diamond (2006)
    3. Steve Carell as Frank Ginsberg in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    4. Michael Sheen as Tony Blair in The Queen (2006)
    5. Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Joshua Larabee in Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
    6. Jackie Earle Haley as Ronald James McGorvey in Little Children (2006)

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role
    1. Rinko Kikuchi as Chieko Wataya in Babel (2006)
    2. Cate Blanchett as Sheba Hart in Notes on a Scandal (2006)
    3. Abigail Breslin as Olive Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    4. Shakeera Epps as Drey in Half Nelson (2006)
    5. Emma Thompson as Karen Eiffel in Stranger than Fiction (2006)
    6. Catherine O’Hara as Marilyn Hack in For Your Consideration (2006)

    Best Acting Ensemble
    1. United 93
    2. Little Miss Sunshine
    3. Dreamgirls
    4. Thank You for Smoking
    5. The Departed
    6. Stranger than Fiction

    Best Director
    1. Paul Greengrass for United 93 (2006)
    2. Alfonso Cuaron for Children of Men (2006)
    3. Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    4. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Babel (2006)
    5. Florian Henckel von Donnsersmarck for The Lives of Others (2006)
    6. Bill Condon for Dreamgirls (2006)

    Best Original Screenplay
    1. Peter Morgan for The Queen (2006)
    2. Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    3. Guillermo Arriaga for Babel (2006)
    4. Florian Henckel von Donnsersmarck for The Lives of Others (2006)
    5. Zach Helm for Stranger than Fiction (2006)
    6. Guillermo del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

    Best Adapted Screenplay
    1. Alfonso Cuaron, Tim Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, & Hawk Otsby for Children of Men (2006)
    2. William Monahan for The Departed (2006)
    3. Patrick Marber for Notes on a Scandal (2006)
    4. Jason Reitman for Thank You for Smoking (2006)
    5. Peter Morgan & Jeremy Brock for The Last King of Scotland (2006)
    6. Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan for The Prestige (2006)

    Best Motion Picture
    1. United 93
    2. Children of Men
    3. The Queen
    4. The Lives of Others
    5. Babel
    6. Little Miss Sunshine
    7. The Departed
    8. Dreamgirls
    9. The Last King of Scotland
    10. Thank You for Smoking

  • Kitchman


    Correct me if I’m mistaken here, but I have vivid memories of you being completely gaga over “Dreamgirls” in 2006 (leading up to the nominations), which I personally found quite odd being that there were so many feature films which completely trumped that (IMO overrated) film. 2006 had so many instant classics, fond memories at the movie theater that year. Marty winning best director was the icing on top, most definitely.

  • Shashank

    Pan’s Labyrinth! Pan’s Labyrinth!

  • 1. Children Of Men
    2. The Lives Of Others
    3. The Departed
    4. United 93
    5. Volver
    6. Borat
    7. Pan’s Labyrinth
    8. Little Children
    9. The Prestige
    10. Idiocracy
    11. Down In The Valley
    12. Casino Royale
    13. Letters From Iwo Jima
    14. The Fountain
    15. The Devil And Daniel Johnston
    16. Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer
    17. Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny
    18. Venus
    19. The Last King Of Scotland
    20. The Curse Of The Golden Flower
    21. Babel
    22. Jesus Camp
    23. Half Nelson
    24. Notes on A Scandal
    25. The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu
    26. The Illusionist
    27. A Scanner Darkly
    28. The Queen
    29. Inside Man
    30. The Painted Veil

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    it was UNITED 93’s year. most best picture critics awards, appeared on more 10 best lists than any other, etc. Oscars’ failure to put it in the lineup for best picture was very strange. and CASINO ROYALE should have been up there as well.

  • Cameron

    Al Robinson: are those the only 10 films you saw?

  • Philipp

    The Departed is good, but I have some problems with it. Whereas Infernal Affairs is smooth and tightend The Departed wants to be more complex (it is 50 minutes longer), but the additions are the weakest part of the movie.

    What do you think about the original and the remake? And why did Scorsese let Jack Nicholson get out of control?

  • murtaza

    1) Ryan Gosling should’ve won.
    2) Emmanuel Lubezki should’ve won.
    3) Supporting actor to Alan Arkin was nuts.
    4) I screamed in joy when The Lives of Others won, what a movie. Amazing experience.
    5) Rinko Kikuchi should’ve won, Hudson screamed at the top of her lungs in her songs, other than that her performance was plain average.
    4) The rest was perfect, although i love BABEL but Departed wasn’t wrong to win. BABEL was hallucinatory.

  • JDB

    No one on here has brought up The Dreamgirls snub. Please discuss what the race would have been like if Dreamgirls had been nominated for Best Picture.

  • Alex

    Please discuss United 93 and Pan’s Labyrinth! If Scorsese had won for Taxi Driver or Raging Bull or Goodfellas, would you still have rooted for him as hard for the Departed (he was certainly deserving either way, but I thought Greengrass was just *more* deserving for United 93)?

  • moviewatcher

    I recently rewatched The Departed and I think it’s an editing masterpiece. With that said, i think it’s got a few flaws with the screenplay, especially in the final 20 minutes. But it’s still a great film. DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, all great. And Scorsese’s direction never disappoints.

  • Joey

    I just rewatched United 93, and it’s just such a staggering achievement. Greengrass was so worthy of his nomination. The final sequence in that movie is so shattering and pulse pounding that in any other year he would have been taken seriously in that category.

  • Robin Write

    ### The NOMINATIONS TALLY this year was rather unique.

    — The movie with the most nominations was DREAMGIRLS {8}, but it did not make the Best Picture list {and rightly so}.

    — The movie with the most nominations in the Best Picture list was BABEL {7}, but not considered the favorite, even after the Golden Globe win {though this was the movie that would have beat Scorsese I believe}.

    — The movie with the second most nominations in the Best Picture list was THE QUEEN {6}. PAN’S LABYRINTH {6} did not make Best Picture either {but perhaps should have}.

    — The movie that won Best Picture, THE DEPARTED, was nominated for just 5, and won 4 of them, the most wins of the night.

    ### One of my favorite parts of the podcast is when you drag a movie or performance into the mix that was perhaps ignored or forgotten. I thought I would mention a few Supporting roles that you could talk about:

    — LEONARDO DICAPRIO {The Departed} —
    Possibly lead and support dilemma, and likely cock-blocked by his Blood Diamond nod too.
    — PAUL DANO {Little Miss Sunshine} —
    His outburst is terrific – would later be ignored too for his gruelling turn in There Will Be Blood. Shame.
    — MICHAEL SHEEN {The Queen} —
    Also played Tony Blair in British TV drama The Deal, and was great then {opposite The Walking Dead’s David Morrisey as Gordon Brown}. Also snubbed later for Frost, Nixon.
    — JAMES McAVOY {The Last King of Scotland} —
    More than holds his own against Whitaker. Another future snub for Atonement, again, huge shame.
    — EMILY BLUNT {The Devil Wears Prada} —
    This is the classic showy type of supporting turn that would have likely won in the 1980s.
    — BEYONCE KNOWLES {Dreamgirls} —
    Maybe her music persona did not fit into Academy vibe – like putting a circle block through a square hole perhaps? But she was convincing enough in Dreamgirls.
    — EVA GREEN {Casino Royale} —
    Stay with me on this one. Green breathes emotion into the Bond series we have not really seen before. With her scenes in the bathroom I forgot I was watching a Bond movie.

    ### You should talk more about the music. ORIGINAL SCORE was a good, diverse list this year. I would like to add a few more that could have made the five {regardless of how “good” some of the movies were}:

    — DEVOTCHKA / MYCHAEL DANNA {Little Miss Sunshine}
    — JAMES NEWTON HOWARD {Blood Diamond}
    — THOMAS NEWMAN {Little Children}
    — JOHN POWELL {United 93}
    — PHILIP GLASS {The Illusionist}
    — HANS ZIMMER {The Da Vinci Code}
    — RACHEL PORTMAN {The Lake House}
    — JAMES NEWTON HOWARD {Lady in the Water}

    ### And finally, as mentioned in comments a couple of months go, it was a really good year for MEXICAN FILM-MAKERS {del Toro, Inarritu, and Cuaron all had really good movies here}. Mexicans were nominated in the following categories that year:

    — BABEL —
    Supporting Actress
    Original Screenplay

    Original Screenplay
    Foreign Language Film
    Art Direction

    Adapted Screenplay
    Best Film Editing

    Sound Mixing

    No doubt you will find links to this year’s Oscars, so I may as well mention Alfonso Cuaron was nominated for Adapted Screenplay and Editing for Children Of Men, as well as for Foreign Language Film for Pan’s Labyrinth.

    The nominations that year were co-announced by SALMA HAYEK too {coincidence?}, who teared up during the announcement, which I found quite moving.

  • It’s wonderful that you are getting ideas from this paragraph as well as from our dialogue made here.

  • JPNS Viewer

    Given the Oscar noms in certain categories, the Babel year is one of the weaker Academy years during my time.

    A great film “Infernal Affairs” I, a criminally underrated effort when taken into consideration on global basis, while ineligible in the Babel year, also seems to have been overlooked in US (and elsewhere) when first released in another different US-release timeline [year]. The Departed, meanwhile, feels as if projecting a good enough excuse […] to have given it to its then “overdue” director and to the movie itself, considering the rest of BP and BD nominees.
    Out of those five nominated pictures, I, however, would pick Babel for the BP win.

    Best Supporting Actor win given to Alan Arkin — possibly another appalling moment to many that year, I believe. (Not to mention the Argo year in which the same actor was being awarded another BSA nom; but that’s another story for now.)
    Out of those five BSA nominees, I would pick Djimon Hounsou.

    Note: Certainly I got to watch all those films including ones nominally discussed and implied in their respective categories.

  • Am I the only one not liking the The Departed Best Picture win because that movie is a hot mess and just a copy and paste work. The only two goods things about The Departed is Matt Damon and Vera Farmiga

    Infernal Affairs, the original, is so much better. Its a shame that the Academy gave Scorsese his Oscar for this very weak movie.

    Children of Men, The Life of Others and United 93 are the superior movies in 2006. Also worth to mention is the powerhouse acting in Notes on a Scandal with Blanchett, Dench, Nighy penned by Patrick Marber, Letters from Iwo Jima, Casino Royal and my very personal favorite pick The Fountain

  • jamesintoronto

    The head scratcher for me that year was how Pan’s Labyrinth gets 5 nods, 2 wins and yet doesn’t win Best Foreign Language Film. No disrespect to The Lives of Others which I think is a really good film, but Pan’s Labyrinth was one of the best films of that year (in any language). But the Foreign Film and Documentary categories have always baffled me.

  • Alec

    “Not necessarily anything fact, but just the lack of attention, lack of characters, lack of extras that are Black, lack of Black people in general. And when you do see a Black person in his films, it’s always in a disrespectful, dark manner, which I agree with, is from the POV of the character, which Scorsese always goes after filthy and usually despicable protagonists. I’m not criticizing by any means, because Scorsese is a huge influence, and one of the reasons why I’m pursuing film/writing. But the more I think about his films and its attitudes towards Black people, it starts to raise a small but difficult concern. I’m totally with the mindset that he must portray stories and characters from the world he knows, but with all the hooting and hollering we do about diversity and equality, he’s not one that has resembled much. But I’m all up for starting a conversation on the matter. Not really motivated to lean one way or another… just a thought.”

    What about Anthony Anderson in The Departed? The only cop Leo could end up trusting(of course they both end up dead, but almost everybody dies in this movie). I don’t think his character was dark or stereotypical. Larry Gilliard Jr. had a decent role in Gangs of NY as Leo’s friend(he died in that too, but once again, a ton of people died). Would I like to see Scorsese shoot a film that involved more black characters? Sure; I can only imagine what actors like Denzel, Ejiofor and Cheadle(just to name a few) would do in a Scorsese movie.
    I also agree with Ryan about us seeing the movies(like Goodfellas and The Departed, where multiple characters are racist) where we aren’t supposed to agree with the character’s actions or beliefs.

  • JPNS Viewer


    “The head scratcher for me that year was how Pan’s Labyrinth gets 5 nods, 2 wins and yet doesn’t win Best Foreign Language Film.”

    Good call, “jamesintoronto”. I remembered somewhat figuratively scratching my head while watching the tape that year, considering the obvious recognition given to Pan (by the Academy), as well.


    In terms of black and white, well, you are not alone re The Departed, Manuel. Simply put, I think it’s a relatively overrated film. That being said, I could see the narrative and, considering certain factors among other BP and BD nominees that year , somewhat understand why it finally was Marty’s year [I know, given the results, it’s easier said than done, especially when simply looking back at it; so, I’m not bragging or anything]. (Make no mistake: I, however, still think the term [quote] “hot mess” is too harsh for The Departed.)

  • Andrew

    Be sure to talk about Notes on a Scandal! Remarkable film, with powerhouse performances by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. AMPAS got it right with nominations for Actress, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and Score. I just wish it had also gotten in for Picture, but it probably would have if there had been more than five nominees.

  • Robin Write

    Pan’s Labyrinth got 6 nominations. It won 3.

  • Jeria

    Leo was amazing in Blood Diamond. I don’t wanna hear any shit about him being nominated for the wrong film. lol

  • Jeria

    Oh, and talk about the wonderful Marie Antoinette, Sofia’s best film and the most visionary film by a female director ever.

  • John

    Please please give INFAMOUS a second look. Not only do I think that film was entertaining and extremely well-written, but Toby Jones gives an incredible performance as Capote. The 2005 film with PSH is great, but this film was made at the exact same time and had the misfortune of being pushed to 2006. I honestly believe that Jones’ portrayal is AS good as PSH. Sandra Bubllock and Daniel Craig impress, as well.

    Also, when youre done with the 2000s, are you guys gonna tackle the 1950s and 1960s? That would be amazing.

    Lastly, I think Babel was right up there challenging The Departed with LMS. That film received many nominations, including Actors support, and won the Golden Globe Drama.

  • John

    Ugh. And Im still annoyed that neither Michael Sheen nor James McAvoy were nominated for The Queen or Last King of Scotland.

  • John

    Im also on the Leo was nominated for the correct film train. He was great in both films, but I felt more from Blood Diamond.

  • Robin Write

    I don’t think DiCaprio should have been nominated for The Departed INSTEAD of Blood Diamond, but his role in the Best Picture winner was worthy of a mention – though likely a Supporting Actor nod perhaps.

  • Eric P.

    “Children of Men” is one of those movies that I watch every few months and just sit back and let it wash over me. Cuaron just immerses you in that world. I remember watching it in an empty movie theater on Staten Island. But the time they got to the infamous car scene I was so anxious/enthralled that I found myself standing up and pacing back and forth in my aisle. I watched the rest of the movie that way. “Gravity” was an underwhelming follow up to this film, especially after Cuaron’s “one-two punch with “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and “Children of Men”.

  • Al Robinson

    “Cameron April 29, 2014 at 2:04 am
    Al Robinson: are those the only 10 films you saw?”

    I hope you’re kidding. What do you think??

    It just happens those are the only ones I would consider for Best Picture. I liked Superman Returns, The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, etc. etc. I saw Pan’s Labyrinth as well, but I didn’t care for it enough to want to see it again. Please remember I am entitled to my opinion.

  • Al Robinson

    Speaking of other movies I saw in 2006, but haven’t mentioned, I remember that there were several other Best Picture hopefuls that never went anywhere:

    A Good Year
    All the King’s Men
    The Good Shepherd

    I didn’t care for any of these films. Plus, I couldn’t even fully follow the plot for The Good Shepherd. Some of that film just didn’t even make any sense.

  • Phil

    -The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite films from this year, and thank you Academy for giving Pat Field a costume design nomination. A rarity for a modern-set film, but so well deserved. I also wish the film had received nominations for Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci and for adapted screenplay. This is one of the few instances where the movie was 1000x better than the book.

    -It’s a shame that Matt Damon split his vote this year between The Good Shepherd and Departed. I haven’t seen The Good Shepherd, but he was fantastic in The Departed and should’ve been recognized.

    -Children of Men was robbed of a best picture nom and a best cinematography win.

    -Mike Judge’s Idiocracy also came out this year, but Fox barely gave it a release. And like with Office Space, it’s turned into a cult classic and sadly, very prescient.

    -Overall a good, not great, year. Mirren and Whittaker took home every precursor award known to man so the acting races were a bore. People say that Eddie Murphy lost sup. actor because of the “Norbit effect.” That is, during voting, Academy members saw ads for this critically reviled film and decided he wasn’t worthy of an Oscar. Do you think this was the case or just urban myth?

  • julian the emperor

    I think there was at least three superior movies that year (Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men and The Lives of Others) than The Departed (which is still one of Scorsese’s best late efforts, mind) and numerous at least as good or slightly better. I actually prefer small gems like Red Road, Old Joy and Half Nelson to The Departed (thanks for the as ever astute reminder, Bryce!)

  • John

    Anyone see The Painted Veil? Gorgeously filmed movie with epic scope, a wonderful score, and a fantastic lead performance from Naomi Watts.

  • Koleś

    United 93 not being nominated for BP was a huge shame. Same goes for The Lives of Others. I’d pick these two over Quenn, Babel or Letters From Iwo Jima any day. I also feel that people don’t give enough credit to Little Children, a masterpiece IMHO and well worthy of BP and BD nods.

    Santaolalla winning for Babel was weird and a bit of a joke. The Academy had a chance to award Newman, Desplat or Glass,three brilliant composers who have never won (even by this day). Instead they give it not only to a guy who won the year before, but for a soundtrack thatconsists of his original work in a very small percentage AND SOME OF THE FUCKING MUSIC WAS USED BEFORE IN OTHER MOVIES!!!

  • Robin Write

    Thomas Newman should never have won this year for The Good German. Decent era score and a change of pace for him, but if he were to win it should have been for Road to Perdition, American Beauty or The Shawshank Redemption.

    I love Thomas Newman, but found that mostly his Oscar nominations have come for scores I feel were not as good as those great ones he was not nominated for {The Horse Whisperer; Meet Joe Black; The Green Mile; White Oleander; Cinderella Man; Little Children; Revolutionary Road; The Help}.

    As for the Academy’s rules on music “originality” or “pre-existing material”, don’t get me started. When Jonny Greenwood’s incredible score for There Will Be Blood was disqualified I freaked out. I also love the score from Philip Glass for The Hours, which was nominated, but I can tell you know a lot of that is based on his previous classical works. Bizarre.

  • Koleś

    @Robin Write

    I agree that “The Good German” it not Newman’s best work and certainly a different vibe than the “classic” Newman I like so much. But as you said, the score itself is probably not oscarworthy.

    Glass (like Newman, Horner and many others) allways sounds the same, but still it’s allways different. Santaolalla however composed a piece called “Iguazu” that made it to the “Babel” soundtrack. The SAME FUCKING TRACK, unchanged appeared a couple years earlier in a masterpiece called “The Insider” by Michael Mann. THE SAME PIECE OF MUSIC WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY THE SAME GUY. When “Iguazu” started playing when I was watching “Babel” the first thing that popped into my head was “Hey, they used the music from The Insider.” But it’s all in the past.

    The persont who is suffering the biggest shaft due to the “originality” or “pre-existing material” rules is Carter Burwell. I’m still wondering why the hell this man is still yet to be nominated for the first time. “True Grit” and “Fargo” alone should have earned him two golden dudes.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    TOP TEN:

    1. Letters from Iwo Jima
    2. The Lives of Others
    3. Babel
    4. The Queen
    5. Borat
    6. Children of Men
    7. Notes on a Scandal
    8. The Departed
    9. Casino Royale
    10. Pan’s Labyrinth

    For me, not a great year, but good for Hollywood, as 4 of the 5 BP nominees are on my list as well. Letters from Iwo Jima is my 2nd favourite Eastwood film (after Unforgiven), but even if Eastwood had not won so recently, a movie in Japanese language was never going to win. Good for Academy nominating it still, giving finger to those patriots who were vocal about an American making a film from enemy’s perspective.

    United 93 I liked more when it was “too soon”. So, maybe it was just about good timing, actually.

    I can’t believe I have a Bond film on the list, but I’m sure I’d had Goldfinger and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service on their year’s lists as well.

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