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The Departed proves US Critics Choice of 2006

The Departed

Story by Jack Foley

MARTIN Scorsese’s gangster thriller The Departed, a remake of Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, has triumphed at the 12th annual US Critics’ Choice Awards.

The film, starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, took both the best film and best director awards.

Commenting at the ceremony – at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium – Scorsese said: “I’m pleased by this award and surprised. Maybe it’s because this is the first picture I made with a plot.”

The Critics’ Choice Awards also recognised a number of other movies in several categories.

Indie favourite Little Miss Sunshine picked up four awards, as did musical Dreamgirls.

Little Miss Sunshine, which follows the fortunes of a dysfunctional family on a road trip across the US, won the best acting ensemble award, the best writing award (for Michael Arndt) and acting prizes for Paul Dano and Abigail Breslin in the best young categories.

Dreamgirls, meanwhile, won accolades in the best supporting actor and actress category (for Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson), as well as best soundtrack and best song (Listen for co-star Beyonce Knowles).

In the best actress and actor categories, two familiar names triumphed – bolstering their Oscar and Golden Globe prospects.

Dame Helen Mirren was named best actress for The Queen and Forest Whitaker beat Will Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio to win best actor for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland.

There was also success for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which triumphed in the best comedy category.

In line with the film’s outrageous antics, Borat – played by British comedian Sasha Baron Cohen – accepted the prize in character and thanked all those Americans who are yet to sue him.

The joke was made in reference to several lawsuits that have been filed against him by people who say they were duped into appearing in the film.

Pixar’s Cars won best animated feature film, while best documentary went to former US Vice President Al Gore for his environmental film An Inconvenient Truth.

The Critics’ Choice Awards are given by the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association, who have a reputation for picking Oscar winners.

They were presented by stars including Penelope Cruz, Toni Collette, Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee.