Oscar History

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« Best of 2012: Nathaniel's Honorable Mentions | Main | You Link Me. You Really Link Me! »

Screenplays of '12. Pg 12. "Lincoln" 

I didn't forget about my page 12 sharing in honor of 2012 but the year slipped away from me. Let's resume, at least in brief, for a moment from LINCOLN as scripted by Tony Kushner based in part on two chapters from "A Team of Rivals" (a book I'm continually hearing great things about).

Tony Kushner speaking about Lincoln at Harvard

Two soldiers fasten a flag to the halyards. Lincoln moves into places; as the crowd applauds, he takes a sheet of paper from inside his hat and glances at it. Then he looks up.

The part assigned to me is to raise
the flag, which, if there be no
fault in the machinery, I will do,
and when up, it will be for the
people to keep it up.

He puts the paper away. The audience waits, expecting more.

        LINCOLN (CONT'D)
That's my speech.

He smiles at them. They applaud, some laughing.  As Lincoln turns the crank, hoisting the flag, a solo trumpet plays "We Are Coming Father Abra'am" and the audience joins in.

That's a really short scene in Lincoln but a telling one since it gives Daniel Day-Lewis one of many opportunities to demonstrate the President's refreshing sense of humor. A good sense of humor goes a long way in sweeping out the cobwebs from the Great Man Hagiography that so many biographical films become.

three more celebrated screenplays I'm also celebrating today

I too love this screenplay and it's one of my own nominees for BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY just posted! My ballot for BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY is also up for this year's Film Bitch Awards kick off. Click over and see what's nominated from soulful indie dramas like Aya DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere and curios like Sean Baker's Starlet through to big budget superhero epics like The Avengers (no really) and certain Oscar players like that controversial Zero Dark screenplay we already talked about

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Reader Comments (8)

Farewell My Queen was snubbed in the Adapted Screenplay Category.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Gratton

Rejoice! The (traditional) Film Bitch Awards begin! Now THIS is the most wonderful time of the year…

Stupendous selection. My pick here is easily “Perks” and while I’d switch out “Avengers” for “Skyfall” I agree it’s completely worthy and a shame that Oscar can’t see past genre barriers because it was integral to that film’s success.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: More splendid choices but wish the gut-punch arc and memorable improve of “End of Watch” had made the cut.

And what lovely write-ups—especially for “Moonrise”, “Beasts” and “Perks”.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan St

My personal ballot:

“21 JUMP STREET”, Michael Bacall
“ARGO”, Chris Terrio
“LINCOLN”, Tony Kushner
“SKYFALL”, John Logan, Neal Purvis, Rob Wade

“AMOUR”, Michael Haneke
“DJANGO UNCHAINED”, Quentin Tarantino
“END OF WATCH”, David Ayer
“THE MASTER”, Paul Thomas Anderson

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan St

Patrick -- eeek. meant to include in finalists. added.

January 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Wonderful, wonderful nominations. Way to go in including Perks and Avengers. Looper for finalist is cool too. I'd probably put Cabin in the Woods for consideration as well.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Oooh Nat, I wish you had seen TABU before compiling all these nominees. I think Teresa Madruga, Ana Moreira, the screenplay and the direction could find a place between your nominees (and finalists).

I think it opens in NY this month. Don't miss it ;) you'll regret it.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I have a lot of respect for Bachelorette even if I thought it was far too mean spirited to enjoy. I applaud your friend for having the nerve to go there. It's a brave film and I can see why it has so many fans. I'd really like to see how this works onstage since my issue stems from how pointed the camera is in the stripper scene with the very mean joke. It would have to be more open onstage and I could probably tolerate it better.

As much as I love Beasts of the Southern Wild, I feel like The Avengers is the clear champion of adapted screenplays this year. I never would have imagined this film coming together so well and it just kept getting better. It's funny, it's entertaining, and--most important of all--it's really well structured.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I think I might be more excited for the Film Bitch Awards than the Oscars this year. There's actually a chance for my favorites to wrack up some nominations here. Love the nominations already! Are you ever going to put up the Film Bitch Awards from years past? I remember there used to be even older ones on here.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

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