Best Adapted Screenplay

I find it remarkable that this movie won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Adapting the story to a Boston setting? Fine, that was done reasonably well. But the actual plot? One of the major changes was merging two of the only female characters from the original movie into a single contradictory mess - one who has spawned a number of threads here from people who likely haven't seen Infernal Affairs and yet can still see that there's something off about her.

The biggest change is the ending. Infernal Affairs had a poignant and thoughtful ending. The Departed's ending is cheap, juvenile, nihilistic garbage.

Beyond that, there are plenty of more minor changes outlined in some of the top reviews here that make the main characters in the Departed one-dimensional and the plot entirely lacking in nuance. In fact, I can't think of a single change that actually improved the screenplay from Infernal Affairs, which was very good but not flawless. So if this was the best adapted screenplay of that year...


Nothing to add. Just wanted to upped it on the board. Very useful comment.
The original Infernal Affairs movies are highly recommended!


The other nominees: Borat, Children of Men, Little Children, and Notes on a Scandal.

Who's your winner if its not the Departed?


Borat was nominated for best screenplay!? That's surprising!


I think it's because it's a really good script. The dialogue and characters are all really good, and the plot keeps you guessing, entertained, and glues you to the film.

I haven't seen Infernal Affairs, so I can't compare endings. I liked the ending of The Departed a lot. It closed off the story and worked with the story Scorsese was presenting. I saw nothing cheap, or juvenile about it. Possibly nihilistic, but...I don't think so. But a case could be made.

I don't find the characters one-dimensional. I find the main cast quite nuanced. As for the psychiatrist character, I didn't know she used to be two people, and I don't recall finding her contradictory at all.

Again: exact comparison as to which one is better aren't something I can comment on because I haven't watched the Infernal Affairs films, but this film has a solid script, GREAT dialogue, and characters who are fascinating and, as far as I'm concerned, deep. The plot is thrilling.

Finally, the script doesn't have to beat Infernal Affairs to win the Oscar. It also doesn't have to be a faithful adaptation, or even be the *most* faithful adaptation out of the nominees, it just has to be (perceived as) the best script out of the nominees. Sandman81 points out that those were Borat, Children of Men, Little Children, and Notes on a Scandal. I might have gone for Children of Men over The Departed, but whether or not Infernal Affairs itself is better is, largely, irrelevant to The Departed's victory.


I haven't seen Infernal Affairs nor do I want to so I can't really see the TC's point of view.