At the Academy Awards ceremony 10 years ago, Martin Scorsese found out that good things come to those who wait. The director, who earned his first Oscar nomination for the boxing biopic “Raging Bull” (1980), finally won the award in 2007.
Scorsese, who had five previous nominations for directing to his credit — as well as two more nods for screenwriting — won his golden guy for helming “The Departed,” his searing 2006 drama about the Irish mob in Boston. Perhaps still uncertain that he really won, Scorsese began his acceptance speech by saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” then joked, “Could you double check the envelope?” “The Departed” was also chosen best picture and earned Oscars for adapted screenplay and film editing.
In the lead acting categories, Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren each won for their portrayal of two diametrically opposed real-life world figures: Whitaker as Uganda’s sadistic former President Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland” and Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen.”
After four tries, Alan Arkin took home an Oscar for his comic supporting turn as an eccentric, foul-mouthed granddad in “Little Miss Sunshine.” In the supporting actress category, Jennifer Hudson proved she was a force to be reckoned with in “Dreamgirls,” as the girl-group member with the biggest voice and the biggest troubles. Hudson became the first — and, to date, only — “American Idol” contestant to win an Oscar.
Of course, not everyone was a winner that night, most conspicuously, eight-time best actor nominee Peter O’Toole, who was up for playing a once-great, now-washed-up actor in “Venus.” Though he didn’t win, he did achieve one dubious accomplishment: He set a record as the performer earning the most nominations without a win.