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Oscars 2007: The Departed triumphs with Dame Helen Mirren

Martin Scorsese, best director and winner of best film

Story by Jack Foley

MARTIN Scorsese finally struck Oscar gold when his mob drama The Departed won four Oscars, including best film and the long sought after best director prize.

The veteran filmmaker had missed out on five previous occasions but was clearly delighted when his name was read out, saying that he was “overwhelmed” and asking: “Could you double-check the envelope?”

The Departed is a remake of Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone and Mark Wahlberg (who missed out on the best supporting actor prize).

It had been the favourite with bookies going into The 79th Academy Awards, which delivered very few surprises among the winners list.

As widely predicted both Dame Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker collected the best actress and actor prizes for their performances in The Queen and The Last King of Scotland.

And former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson was named best supporting actress for Dreamgirls.

Another screen veteran, Alan Arkin, was named best supporting actor for his performance in indie hit Little Miss Sunshine, which also won best original screenplay. His triumph came at the expense of Eddie Murphy, who many had tipped to come away with the golden statuette.

And Mexican fairytale Pan’s Labyrinth won three awards despite missing out on the coveted best foreign language film, for best cinematography, best art direction and best make-up.

Germany’s The Lives of Others took the best foreign language prize, following up its triumph at the Independent Spirit Awards the previous night.

Al Gore’s environmental film An Inconvenient Truth was named best documentary, as well as best original song for Melissa Etheridge’s I Need To Wake Up.

What they said…

Martin Scorsese will grab most of the headlines for his overdue win, having received his first directing nomination for Raging Bull in 1981.

He commented: “So many people over the years have been wishing this for me – strangers. I walk in the street and people say something to me: ‘You should win, you should win’.”

Dame Helen Mirren was equally thrilled, saying: “All kids love to get gold stars, and this is the biggest and the best gold star that I have ever had in my life.”

And Forest Whitaker – who won for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin – struggled to remember his lines before pulling out a pre-written speech.

“When I was a kid, the only way I saw movies was from the back seat of my family’s car at the drive-in,” he said. “It wasn’t my reality to think I would be acting in movies – so receiving this honour tonight tells me that it’s possible.”

This year’s awards ceremony was hosted by US comedy star and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who presented the glittering ceremony from the world-famous Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

She drew applause by saying that hosting the Oscars had been “a dream of mine since I was a little girl”.

See the full list of winners

See photos of the winners

  1. Perhaps you are interested in the German movie that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film last night.

    “The Lives of Others” portrays life in communist East Germany and focuses on the totalitarian powers of the secret police, whose stated goal was “to know everything.”

    I have posted several reviews and the trailer with English subtitles on our blog and recommended a few more German movies, which are available in the US:
    http://atlanticreview.org/archives/590-Oscar.html

    Josh in Berlin    Feb 26    #