Asghar Farhadi has another Oscar contender on his hands...

Oscar History

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Oscar Horrors: The Sixth Sense

"I love this movie so much. And to those sad about M. Night's current career, Split with James McAvoy has gotten positive reviews!." -Connor

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Entries in Aaron Sorkin (14)


What to Watch When Your Brain Hurts and the World Makes You Sad

by Deborah Lipp

Professor Spouse and I watch a lot of TV. This is absolutely ridiculous, because our first “OhMyGodWhoIsThisWoman” conversation was about movies. But the fact is, the Professor and I rarely watch movies in the evenings, largely because she is a Professor. She comes home from school either fried, or needing to grade, or both. These conditions aren’t conducive to paying attention to a movie, so we turn on the TV. 

Lately, we default to the news, and, while Rachel Maddow is a television hero, sometimes the vileness of the current Presidential race is too much for our brains to process.  We often watch great TV, which can be challenging and dark. What do we do when we just can’t face the challenge? The West Wing.

If you aren’t familiar with it, The West Wing was a political drama that ran on NBC from 1999 to 2006, following the presidency of Democrat Jedidiah “Jed” Bartlett (Martin Sheen) and his staff through two terms...

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Never felt so LIVE!

Filmed stage productions are becoming more and more common with The National Theatre in London finding great success streaming their high production shows across cinemas all over the world. Cinephiles and theatre goers are big overlap on the venn diagram. A live TV production seems like the next logical step. As recently reported, Aaron Sorkin’s play-turned-film A Few Good Men is getting the live TV treatment in 2017 on NBC. This follows in the successful footsteps of live musicals The Sound Of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz and Grease but is certainly an ambitious task without the razzle dazzle of musicals or the tomfoolery of live comedy to smooth over the awkward edges live TV can contain.

Whilst these filmed non-musical stage productions have found success, particularly when big names are headlining, there is always something missing that makes in an incomparable experience to being in the theatre with them. By tailor making the work for at home audiences, this could be overcome. An Aaron Sorkin script seems the perfect vehicle. The pace of his scripts in the hands of a strong cast is edge of your seat viewing, and anyone familiar with his work on stage on screen will be excited by the prospect of seeing those character sparks fly live. There’s no word on cast yet, but so far NBC have (mostly) done a good job of casting their live productions, and have a particular knack for picking up and coming stars.

Should this prove fruitful, there’s an array of plays and films that could be all the more tantalising with the electricity of live performance. Let’s speculate after the jump on some other plays and even films that could make the transition after the jump...

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Interview: Josh Singer on pushing deep with Spotlight's Screenplay and his time on The West Wing

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer at the Gothams. It would not be the last award for their SPOTLIGHT screenplayAs we head toward Oscar night in an unusually complicated Oscar race, Spotlight is one of the films that's still in the thick of it. And with good reason. This finely tuned gripping account of the Boston Globe's long investigation into sex-abuse coverups was, by any measure, one of the most acclaimed films of the year.

The director Tom McCarthy is a flexible talent -- he acts, writes, and directs -- so it was something of a surprise that he shared writing duties on Spotlight with Josh Singer (The West Wing, The Fifth Estate). But that's somehow perfect since the film places such beautiful emphasis on community and teamwork. And when I began to speak with Singer about his involvement this communal spirit was also obvious. He immediately began deferring praise to the actors, and Tom's gift with them, and was so pleased that they'd been honored already this awards season. 

Here's our interview, edited for length and clarity...

NATHANIEL R: Spotlight is unusual in that the lead character is really the investigation itself

JOSH SINGER: It’s really an ensemble piece. Tom wanted this to be about the Spotlight team. It made me nervous early on, not having one or two protagonists. We have six!

NATHANIEL: Tom McCarthy doesn’t usually collaborate on his screenplays. So tell me what happened there.

 more after the jump...

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THR's Screenwriter Roundtable

Chris here. I hope you're having a relaxing and safe holiday weekend!

Earlier this week, hiding among the constant updates on the reams of money The Force Awakens is floating in, we got this year's Screenwriters Roundtable! You'll remember from November that we had some feelings about this year's Actress Roundtable and I'll confess that I found this year's Actor Roundtable underwhelming in lineup and discussion. However, the Screenwriters edition is often the loosest and freshest each year - with its selected participants typically on point.

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NYFF: Sing the Electric "Steve Jobs"

Reporting from the ongoing New York Film Festival here is Jason on Oscar hopeful "Steve Jobs".

It should surprise no one that a movie directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin is all about rhythm. The rhythm is established at the start (and Steve Jobs runs zero to sixty so you'd best get a grip quick) and pulses outwards like the blink of a cursor, or a techno beat. You could probably set your watch to it... if you were a maniacal math genius who could work out the exact algorithm they're working off of. 

The new film is structured around three events in Jobs professional life: his first presentation of his Macintosh computer in 1984; the "perfect black cube" of the NeXT machine in 1988 after he was fired from Apple; and his triumphant return to the company a decade later with the crayola-tinted iMac every girl in my college dorm owned. Within each chapter, there are a series of sonnets of sorts, devoted to the folks in his life - his daughter, his work-wife, his boss, so on. The pieces shift once the rhythm is established, but structurally speaking the film is rigorous, in a (and I do not use these words lightly) soul-pleasing kind of way. Once you find your way in to Steve Jobs, there's this satisfaction in expectations, and the massaging thereof. [More...]

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Lukewarm Off The Presses: About Lucille 

It's surprisingly easy to photoshop Cate's face over Lucille's so basically it works visuallyCate Blanchett playing Lucille Ball in a future biopic has already, rather oddly, taken over two entirely unrelated comment threads so I suppose we should say something official-like? The news of Aaron Sorkin's Lucy biopic to which Cate Blanchett is attached was one of those news stories that happened in those intermittent time periods when I was doing something other than the interweb (shock) for about 12 hours. I think it was dinner with a friend + 2 hours of Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp + sleeping. When I woke up it was like the news had always existed and everyone but me was talking about it. These things happen. Even with our kind of news -- read: 'Actressy And How' -- when we're unlucky.

Undeniably this is a weird project on paper. Can you connect Sorkin's rat-a-tat-tat sober pontificating (even though it has a sense of humor) to Lucille's broad slapstick mixed with indefatigable verbosity? The verbosity sure. But otherwise... What's more, Sorkin's work rarely seems all that interested in women.  Neither can I imagine Cate pulling it off without resorting to technical mimicry absent the silly soul -- Cate can definitely do comedy but this kind of comedy? That seems like quite a reach.

with George Sanders in Lured (1947)with Gene Kelly in Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

Then again, Lucille Ball is a showbiz icon with more sides than just ditzy Lucy from the beloved 50s sitcom. In fact, there are enough movements in that career to suggest that the way to go would be an I'm Not There approach. You've got the savvy businesswoman, the 40s dramatic starlet (see Lured for the improbable sight of glamorous Lucille Ball in a Douglas Sirk directed serial killer drama!), the sitcom superstar, the late career wanderings (Mame anyone? No?). The bio won't cover her whole life, thankfully but looks to focus on 1940 through 1960 and her marriage to Desi Arnaz. If we don't get a scene from the set of Lured (1947) I'll feel personally cheated. 


Annette Bening, the Romantic Comedienne

Andrew here. I could not let the celebration of 1995, which ends with tomorrow's Smackdown, pass without singling out one of the most important performances of the year from my favourite actress.

The American President represents a key moment in my Bening love affair because this – her tenth film after seven years in the business – represents my first meeting with her, and it was obsession at first sight. But enough about me. This mostly forgotten gem allows Annette to perform in a cadence that she's been rarely allowed to show her abilities - Annette Bening, at 37 years old, the best romantic comedy heroine of the 90s...

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