The thing about The Departed, the x-factor that people can’t quite put their finger on, is that it deals clearly with class and accent all these things that are fundamental to Boston, but previously anomalous or even prohibited in demotic American films. Without English art, I never would have understood myself, my own family, or the New England world I lived in, as it was at that time. The Departed is the first time Boston was ever put accurately on screen, and I’m intentionally excluding the Friends of Eddie Coyle, which incidentally had an English director, because Higgins did a sort of Amos and Andy dialect comedy about his own people to entertain an audience of wannabe WASPS.
— Epic, fascinating (at least to me) interview with William Monahan, screenwriter of The Departed. He also was a former editor for Spy Magazine, too. He has a lot to say about Boston, class, and the English and I think he’s onto something. Despite Monahan’s criticisms, I think The Friends of Eddie Coyle might be my favorite movie about the Boston area, but that’s for a variety of reasons, least of all Robert Mitchum’s perfect performance.