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The Departed Party

Marty_leo By Gregg Goldstein

NEW YORK -- Even for the most jaded partygoer, it was hard not to be a little starstruck at the New York premiere of Martin Scorsese's epic action drama “The Departed.” Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Mick Jagger and Ron Wood (whose “Gimme Shelter” is used to great effect), Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen (fresh from a book signing), Billy Joel, Lou Reed, Lauren Bacall, Darren Aronofsky, Jay Hernandez, Patrick Whitesell, John Turturro, Harvey Weinstein, Q-Tip and many more filled the Ziegfeld Theatre and the afterparty at Guastavino’s under the 59th Street Bridge (which guest Art Garfunkel made famous some three decades ago).

It was almost enough to make you forget the cool performances John Cameron Mitchell and friends were giving at a Lower East Side synagogue for his "'Shortbus' Extravaganza" New York premiere.  Barry Diller chose the temple over the cinematic gods uptown.

The event was so packed that even co-star Vera Farmiga, sporting an elegantly wavy 40s style blonde hairdo, was having a hard time getting a friend inside. She's made six films so far this year (“mostly indies, which I love,” she said), but it was her Los Angeles Film Critics Association award-winning turn as a drug addict in “Down to the Bone” that turned a corner in her career. “Marty saw me in it and that's why he cast me,” she said.

Warner Bros. execs Alan Horn, Jeff Robinov, Barry Meyer and Dawn Taubin all seemed justifiably happy, but Horn (who weathered a disappointing summer) was a bit cautious about the film many appeared to sincerely love. "I think it will do very well, but I'm not sure how its going to play in the heartland because its a really hard “R,” he said. But there’s no violence in the film that's gratuitous. It’s all in service of the story.”

Asked whether it’s more of a Scorsese Oscar film or a Scorsese genre film, Horn said “I think its a classic Scorsese film in the mold of his gang dramas and I think its a definite (awards) contender – it doesn’t have to be one or the other. And I think the performances of Jack and Leo and Matty and Mark and Alec raise it to an even higher level.” One guest, who thought “Departed” was terrific, sarcastically commented, “I can’t wait for them to nominate Scorsese again and I can’t wait for them to not give it to him again.”

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