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'Silence' will arrive for Oscar season: Will Scorsese film be awards favorite?

Scorsese's latest film, 'Silence,' could be another awards season contender for the director. He and his films had been nominated several times before his 2006 movie 'The Departed' won Best Picture and he received a best director Oscar.

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Martin Scorsese attends the premiere of the HBO series 'Vinyl' at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York in January 2016.

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Director Martin Scorsese’s film “Silence” may become another awards season favorite for the director, as the movie is set to be released this December in time for the Oscars. 

Mr. Scorsese’s film, which will be released on Dec. 23, stars Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Tadanobu Asano, Adam Driver, and Shin’ya Tsukamoto. The movie tells the story of missionaries working in Japan. 

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Having the film come out in December keeps it as a potential contender for Oscars nominations. The director is a perennial Oscars favorite. His last two movies, “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Hugo,” both received Best Picture nominations. Others that have received Academy Award nominations include “The Departed,” “The Aviator,” “Gangs of New York,” and “Goodfellas,” among others. 

Until 2007, however, Scorsese had never won the best director Oscar despite having helmed such film classics as “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” That year, he won the award for the 2006 film “The Departed.” (He had been nominated for the award five times previously.) In addition, “Departed” became the first movie directed by Scorsese to win Best Picture. 

What made “Departed” become the movie that would break these losing streaks?

IGN staff wrote in their Oscars predictions for the year that the box office success of “Departed” would matter to voters as much as Scorsese's many nominations.

“Never mind that Scorsese has never won the Best Director award in all his years of service to Hollywood ... or that his only real competition this year is from ‘United 93’'s Paul Greengrass, whose film has reportedly been mostly ignored by the Academy members,” staff wrote. “Or that the Directors Guild of America gave Scorsese the directing award earlier this month, and that the Oscars almost always follow in kind. Never mind all that, and focus on the film at hand: ‘The Departed.’ Often described as a return to form for the helmer, with its bloody crime world underpinnings, ‘The Departed’ has also been a box office hit, Scorsese's biggest, in fact. And that's something Hollywood loves to reward as much as, if not more than, creativity.” 

Meanwhile, Jeremy Kay of the Guardian wrote that it was studio Warner Bros.’s marketing strategy as much as anything else that won “Departed” its statuettes. 

“’The Departed’'s quadruple triumph at the 79th Academy Awards owes as much to the astute planning behind its Oscar campaign as to the fact that this wasn't a vintage year for best picture nominees,” Mr. Kay wrote. “…Warner Bros' campaign specialists felt they had a winner on their hands and set about reminding people that this was not just a ‘bloody steak of a movie,’ as Variety's critic famously wrote, but a big crowd-pleaser packed with talent.”