Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio in The DepartedThe L.A. Film Critics Association and AFI just released their lists of best films of 2006, and I have to say, you disappoint me, L.A. Film Critics Ass. and AFI. No 'Departed'? Oh, come on. Martin Scorsese's blockbuster crime drama is the most exciting movie to hit the big screen since ... Martin Scorsese's crime drama 'GoodFellas.'

And AFI, please. 'The Inside Man' made your list of Top 10, but NOT 'The Departed'? Sure, it's well acted, well directed, taut-ly suspenseful. But 'The Departed' is all that and so much more. Career-best performances by Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. Jack Nicholson unglued in a really interesting, crazy-crime-boss kinda way. Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg fully investing themselves in solid, award-worthy supporting roles. Scorsese masterfully bringing out the best in everyone on the screen (and there are a lot of people on that screen).

This early best-of listing is worrying me. When I saw 'The Departed' the first time, I just knew that this was the year Marty was gonna be awarded his long-overdue Oscar, that this movie couldn't lose. And then when I saw it the second time, I thought that maybe Leo would win his first Oscar; the biggest problem I envisioned was how would the Academy decide if it was a lead or supporting role? And then, when the box office kept growing ($116 mil to date), I was reassured that there was no way 'Departed' could lose, since the Academy likes its artistic achievement to be accompanied by a big slice of financial pie.

But now, I have to admit, I'm scared. What if 'Departed' peaked too early, and it loses momemtum before Oscar can show its love? What if Clint Eastwood, with his freakin' TWO big '06 serious, dramatic war movies, wins Best Director AGAIN?!?! Come on, Academy -- isn't Marty slaving away to save old film from disappearing? He's working his butt off for you people. Plus, hasn't he been snubbed enough? This is the year. Don't forget him. And don't make me beg. Because I will, and nobody wants that. It's just demeaning.

CATEGORIES Features, Cinematical