New daily! I'll be sharing page 12 of every screenplay I've received for 2012 Films. With commentary!
The following scene stars Jason Clarke as "bad news" Daniel who has surprisingly not been getting much Supporting Actor buzz despite shooting off unmissable 'next big thing' vibes and Reda Kateb* as his tortured prisoner Ammar. I've drawn a little storyboard for you since the studio hasn't released any stills from this particular scene.
INT. MAYA'S APARTMENT - ISLAMABAD
The loud WAILING of the early morning call to prayer from the loudspeakers of a nearby mosque wakes Maya on the couch.
INT. BLACK SITE - AFTERNOON
Daniel and the guards enter Ammar's cel with Maya. Daniel switches on the floodlights, awakening Ammar.
Let's take it easy today, huh?
Daniel hands Ammar a bottle of orange juice and a bag of falalfel.
Hungry? The food in here sucks so I
got you some of this.
Ammar grabs the lunch sack and scarfs down the falafels.
Richard Reid, wow. I was thinking
about him. The guy gets a bomb in
his shoe on a plane. Unbelievable.
You know him, don't you?
Slowly, Ammar nods.
I'm glad you said that.
• Regarding Reda Kateb... Some of you will remember from a key supporting role in Un Prophète and he gives a barb wire painful take here on physical waste, defiant exhaustion and reduction to childlike impulses -- a shot of him clutching a plastic bottle of juice is heartbreaking. In case you missed my earlier rebuke of SAG and their grotesque rules about Outstanding Cast which always punish the lesser famous (and, inadvertently perhaps, often then results in all-white nominated casts even if the movie is multi-ethnic) -- the same would apply here. We must note again that SAG rules indicate that you have to have a solo title card to be nominated for Outstanding Cast. Had Zero Dark Thirty won the nomination it deserved (few movies had stronger ensemble work this year), the nominee list would have been eight names long: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez... "and James Gandolfini".
Those denied this imagined honor -- allow me to be pissed in theory! -- despite significant contributions to the film would have been Reda Kateb and Fares Fares (both indispensable), Harold Perrineau, Stephane Dillane, Callan Mulvey, and Chris Pratt. And doesn't Pratt deserve prizes just for his new body alone?
• Watching this scene again, I marvel at the incredibly specific power of the cinematography by Greig Frasier (and Bigelow's guiding hand of course). Just this one excerpt from the screenplay when visualized has multiple lighting techniques and derives great compositional power from the use of natural light and the way a room changes when doors are opened and closed or artificial lights when spotlights are moved about. If Frasier is not nominated for this particular picture, there's something amiss in the cinematography branch.
• Jessica Chastain, who we were just discussing, is also in this scene. For a lead character Maya has surprisingly little dialogue. She's often in the background (or foreground) observing and processing the film's constant dense and maze-like barrage of information.