Oscar Week ’09: My Favourite Non-Winners – Gangs of New York

When Chicago won Best Picture in 2003, it was the only time that the Best Picture winner annoyed me. I though that ever other film nominated that year (including The Hours, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Pianist) was more deserving of the win and I was personally rooting for this film.

This was of the first of the (so far) three collaborations between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio and I have to say that it is my favourite of the bunch (though The Departed comes a close second).

The film deals with gang warfare in the early days of New York City, which centered around Irish immigrants fighting against the so-called “Natives.” The story is fictional, though it contains some characters based on real individuals, such as Boss Tweed and Bill the Butcher (played wonderfully by Daniel Day-Lewis).

It probably wouldn’t be too much of a guess to say that the political climate at the time (the ceremony happened right at the start of the Iraq War) prevented a violent film like this to win at the Oscars, however in my book, this film was the best film of 2002.


Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).