I don’t watch TV and I go out of my way to avoid the Oscars, but I’m given to understand that Martin Scorsese won Best Director for his remake of Infernal Affairs, which also won Best Picture. It’s fairly obvious to me that this was a guilt trip prize since Scorsese–who is genuinely talented if in a somewhat heavy-handed and brassy style–has never won either of these awards before in his long career. He’s certainly deserved it before now, but it’s really a pity he won for a slick, overworked remake of a better film most Americans will never see. Well, maybe a few of them will now look it up, though since no one seems to be copping to the title of the original Chinese film which William Monahan worked over to grab the Best Adapted Screenplay award for Scorsese’s flick, they may not know which film to rent.
I’m not going to say Scorsese’s film stinks–I haven’t seen it and it probably doesn’t–but I’m doubtful that the slick, Irish-Mafia tale told in classic Hollywood style by one of Hollywood’s flamboyantly “gritty” and over-the-top directors has quite the same soul and impact as the dark, intense, and intimate film it remade. Just the idea of scenery-eating Jack Nicholson as the crime boss undermines the concept for me. Oh well. Scorsese got his Oscars at last and I doubt any of the films he was up against were so much better that they were “robbed” in handing off the little naked gold guy to Marty, instead.
Let’s face it: Helen Mirren was The Queen, and who needs to prove that with an award for the film, too?