THE DEPARTED (Martin Scorsese)
The only thing that keeps this film from being in my Essentials is that it exhausts me. It’s almost too richly layered, too many twists and climaxes etc. All masterfully done, don’t get me wrong, just too much of a good thing. It will still go down as one of Scorsese’s best.
THE PRESTIGE (Christopher Nolan)
Not content with conventional story-telling, Christopher Nolan likes to play with time and bend expectations. That’s all very well and good, as long as your stories contain all the necessary elements to keep us interested. And this could be Nolan’s greatest strength. On the way to his masterpiece, INCEPTION, Nolan delivered this sumptuous period piece. Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman and Scarlet Johannson head an able cast that keeps the head and the heart fully engaged.