The Departed won Marty Scorsese a well-earned chunk of Oscars, but the won it most deserved was Best Actor. Simply put, this was Leonardo DiCaprio's best performance. He's been working on this for a long time, being the rare child actor to amount to a respectable adult career, for the same reasons he was able to do it in the first place, because he's comfortable in front of the camera and knows how to convey the depth of the characters he inhabits. He's got more depth in The Departed than in any other movie he's done, because in Billy he's got someone so thoroughly locked into their own bad situation he doesn't know how to deal with it (hence the periodic, inexplicable flashes of violence), trapped by an impossible goal he knows he won't come out of alive, but too committed to escape. This is DiCaprio's breakout performance, where he truly matures as an artist. It's every bit his On the Waterfront, where we meet the Leo capable of living up to the specter of Marlon Brando, a giant of the medium very few have approached (to the point where Brando was such an anomaly most critics began taking him for granted, enveloping his later career in a quagmire of disrespect, something he obviously understood). The whole cast of The Departed is electric, actually, but this is a clear-cut case of coming for the show and staying for the main attraction. You know Marty's good pal Robert De Niro? Well, there's a reason why Leo was his successor. This is it.
Star Trek bonus!
D is for Dax
(from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Dax is a slug, a symbiont indigenous to the Trill homeworld, requiring a host body for interaction with the outside world. Three hosts played a key role for Benjamin Sisko, the first being Curzon, who had remarkable dealings with Klingons and became the young Sisko's mentor, and was affectionately known as "Old Man." Remarkably, Sisko got to work with the next host, too, Jadzia, once he took command of Deep Space Nine. He called her "Old Man," too, but she wasn't. Finally, circumstances also found Sisko working with Jadzia's successor, after Jadzia herself was murdered by the crazed Cardassian Dukat. Ezri was a pixie who inadvertently provided closure for most of the people who knew Jadzia, and was the first host since Curzon able to pass on Klingon dishes. A special ceremony actually allowed us to meet all of Dax's previous hosts. Some of them were more impressive than others. Odo probably found Curzon the most impressive.