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Entries in Screenplays (245)


USC Scripter Noms & Final Screenplay Predictions

The USC Libraries, chaired by USC professor Howard Rodman, that began in 1988. Though they can signify strength moving into Oscar nominations, it's important to remember that they're a juried award from a college so not connected to the Oscar voting body, though perhaps Rodman himself is a member since he as once president of the WGA.  

Their nominations as well as our final predictions for Oscar's Screenplay categories are after the jump...


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Guild Nominations En Masse!

by Nathaniel R

Today is a big day. It's Globe fallout day but also the day when  the guilds start announcing en masse. Today we heard from the writers, the editors, and the art directors guilds to give us more clues as to which films the industry is gaga for. The only films that scored at all three guilds were A Star is Born and Roma, which NOT COINCIDENTALLY feel like the two most likely films to win Best Picture on Oscar night, give or take Black Panther.

The nominations are all after the jump...

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Blueprints: Five Expertly Written Scenes of 2018

by Jorge Molina

A screenplay has to accomplish many things to be successful: establish the characters, create and maintain tension, introduce the plotlines and carry them smoothly and compellingly, grasp the audience’s attention and hold it for two plus hours. A good script does it all. A great script makes it all look easy and seamless.

We previously sang the praises of 5 original screenplays and 5 adaptations. This week, we're getting more specific with 5 scenes. While each of the following stories were successfully told overall as one cohesive movie, their writing stood out for making a particular element of screenwriting shine; each unique to the story they were trying to tell.

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Blueprints: "Little Miss Sunshine"

To celebrate the family awkwardness of Thanksgiving weekend, Jorge takes a look at one of cinema’s most memorable dysfunctional families and how they make their entrances.

Look, no family’s perfect. Far from it. And no holiday brings out the imperfections more than Thanksgiving. Every difference of opinion, tightly-held grudge, annoying personality trait, buried secret and imprinted trauma tend to resurface. And while it may be hell for those going through it, these interactions are usually fertile ground for narrative drama.

But most families tend to be dysfunctional year-round, not just during the holidays. Some don’t need a holiday weekend or a glass of wine to bring out their unpleasant side. All you need to see it is a quick first glimpse. So let’s take a look at the Hoovers in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine, who are precisely that kind of family. Let’s see how they are each individually introduced in the script, as fully flawed human beings...

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Podcast: El Angel, The Front Runner, Oscar's Screenplay Race

Nathaniel R and Murtada Elfadl talk new films and the Oscar race

Index (58 minutes)
00:01 The story of Gary Hart in The Front Runner starring Hugh Jackman
16:25 El Angel starring Lorenzo Ferro and Chino Darín which is Argentina's Oscar submission
27:22 Sidebar: My Fair Lady on Broadway
34:24 Best Adapted Screenplay: Bradley Cooper, Barry Jenkins, Gillian Flynn, Nicole Holofcener, Spike Lee, Armando Iannucci, Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan could all compete here but which of them will?
45:23 Best Original Screenplay: Roma, The Favourite and Green Book and...?
54:40 Beck claims he's recording a score for Roma... which has no score.

 References / Further Reading
The horror of Beck's Tweet about Roma
Chris's review of The Front Runner
Foreign Language Film Submission Chart 
Screenplays Oscar Chart

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

El Angel and The Front Runner


Blueprints: "Coco"

Feliz Día de los Muertos! To celebrate, Jorge looks at how the script for Disney’s “Coco” mixes two languages the same way the movie interconnects cultures.

I’ve written a couple of pieces in this site before about Coco. It was an extremely intimate and touching experience to be able to see my native culture represented to accurately and lovingly. It is a movie that perfectly captures the spirit of Mexicanism, of our fragile and ever-present relationship with death, family, and tradition. 

I saw the movie twice in theaters: once in its original English, and once in its Spanish dub. While I consider the dub to be a better version (but that perhaps has to do with the way I’ve always experienced animated films), the English one made me consider a new aspect of the film: the way it handled Spanish. It’s a movie explicitly set in a different country; one where a different language is spoken (unlike say, Brave). How can the script incorporate this essential cultural element without making it seem unauthentic? It turns out, they do it muy bien.

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