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Entries in Screenplays (162)


Viola Davis to Break Records if She Crashes the Best Supporting Actress Party

Over the weekend Viola Davis's camp confirmed they were officially aiming for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences. This disappoints us since she won the Lead Tony on Broadway for the role and now it seems like we're going to remain ages and ages away from another WOC winning Best Actress. It's been a long time since Halle Berry. Viola will of course become the most nominated black actress at the Oscars ever if she's nominated for Fences (which will be her 3rd nomination) making her the immediate frontrunner. 

Can Viola & Denzel repeat their Tony winning dominance at the Oscars for Fences?

Updated Best Actress Chart
Updated Best Supporting Actress Chart 

But let's discuss a less cited but even more impressive (though frustrating) record Viola may break. If Viola is nominated for Fences she becomes not just the most nominated black actress but the most nominated black woman of all time in any category. Viola is currently tied with five other women with two nominations each: most famously Oprah Winfrey (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress... she also has the non-competitive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award), Whoopi Goldberg (both for acting), and Ruth E Carter (both times for costume design) who rose up in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the turn of the century three more black women have joined them: Viola, plus Sharen Davis (both times for Costume Design) and Siedah Garrett (both times for Original Song). The only way Viola doesn't keep this record for her own is if Sharen Davis joins her in a tie for most nominated in January. Sharen designed the costumes for Fences and could also be in the mix this year for a third time. Of those six women, only Whoopi has won a competitive Oscar. 

Costume Designer Sharen Davis (Fences) could break the record WITH Viola!

Updated: Removed commentary about a possible posthumous nomination for Wilson to do more research on the topic.


"Moonlight" in Three Acts

Since Barry Jenkins' new film Moonlight is told in triptych style, we've opted to bring you our NYFF review in the same way with three of us writing it! - Editor

"Little" by Murtada Elfadl
Moonlight is a patient movie that takes its time to give us a full portrait of what goes on in a young man’s mind. Long beautifully rendered scenes provide us pivotal snippets of days in a life. The economy of the scenes mixed with the patience in storytelling means that every gesture and word counts. Barry Jenkins takes Tarell McCraney’s unproduced play "In Moonlight Black Boys Boys Look Blue" and paints it on screen, using his actors’ faces and bodies to deliver singular poetic images.

The languid melancholic tone fits the inner monologue of the main character Chiron (who is called "Little" in this first of three segments),  who is struggling to understand himself...

Click to read more ...


Podcast/Smackdown Pt 1: "Julia" & "The Goodbye Girl"

As a companion piece to yesterday's Smackdown, a two-part podcast. In the first installment Mark Harris, Guy Lodge, Nick Davis, Sara Black McCulloch, and Nathaniel R discuss 1977's Oscar race, Jane Fonda & Vanessa Redgrave's friendship, Neil Simon's quippy writing, and more...

Part One. Index (41 minutes)
00:01 Intros, 1977 Memories, Annie Hall vs Star Wars
05:55 "getting" movies and Oscar-watching before the internet
09:09 Julia and Jane Fonda's curious "supporting" lead
16:23 Gender in Julia, Vanessa Redgrave's politics, and queer subtext
29:45 Child acting and difficult language in The Goodbye Girl
35:45 The influx of divorce/single parenting movies in the 70s
39:14 Nick's family memory of The Goodbye Girl

You can listen to the podcast here or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Smackdown 77. Part One. Julia


Review: Star Trek Beyond

It’s Eric, an admitted non-Trekker, with some reflections on Star Trek Beyond.  

Is there a better rebooter in the industry than J.J. Abrams?  His last directing effort, a little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, expertly combined the franchises’ original charm and simplicity with a new sparkle that made it the best in the series since 1983.  And when Abrams kicked off Star Trek in 2009 for a new generation, he seemed similarly to balance many of the qualities dear to Trekkers’ hearts while introducing a new audience (of which I was one) to the series.   

Abrams also directed the next installment, Into Darkness, but here on Beyond serves as producer only while the director reigns go to Justin Lin.  Lin is an expert action director and has delivered some killer set pieces in volumes three through six of the Fast and the Furious franchise...

Click to read more ...


Oscar Chart Updates: Picture, Director, Screenplay

It's time to overhaul those April Fool's Oscar Predictions. Release dates have shifted around a bit with Miss Sloane (starring Jessica Chastain) and The Founder (starring Michael Keaton) moving to a very crowded December. Same as it ever was. Quite strangely every Oscar hopeful wants to open opposite Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so those that have firmly planted their flags in October and November like Birth of a Nation, Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk, and Loving are looking extra smart since that's where Best Picture winners come from for a whole decade now. So why do studios keep banking on December? The answer is twofold. IF you don't get buried in the glut (that's the risk) you can make a lot of money during the holidays and get a higher nomination count than you probably could have managed had you opened in October since you're so fresh in the memory. That's what happened to The Big Short, Carol, Star Wars, and The Revenant last year though half of those did not manage Best Picture honors, even with the benefit of being fresh despite a plentiful stack of nominations.

Will the screenplay branch be appreciative of The Lobster's eccentric originality?

Sadly it doesn't look like we have a major summer player this year like we did last year with Mad Max Fury Road. Though we can hold out hope that The Lobster, Love & Friendship, The Witch and some other goodies from the year's first half will get a second wind later in the season. Anyway, the updates!

Faith is increasing in Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk and Loving and La La Land (though they were already doing well in our charts). Faith has decreased in Fences -- they sure rushed that one, didn't they, since they're already done filming and The Zookeeper's Wife has moved to 2017. (Surely a few more titles will also exit and wait it out)

We'll assume Loving is an Original Screenplay for now, though there's a documentary and other writings on that topic. Since Oscar is weird about nominating musicals for Screenplay this is one category where La La Land is not predicted. But we've thrown Miss Sloane onto the chart to see how it feels. In Adapted Screenplay we're banking on Love & Friendship being the early bird that sticks around since it became such an arthouse hit and it's so delightful and so much was made in profiles and reviews and interviews of Whit Stillman's Jane Austen connection. 

More updates to come!


Great Moments in Gay - 'This kind of stuff' in Weekend (2011)

In June we're celebrating favorite queer moments in cinema. Here's guest contributor Bill Curran on a pivotal low key scene in Weekend... 

Jamie: "What's going on?"

Russell: "Nothing… nothing's going on."

Pride is hard. We’re in a month filled with delirious rainbow floats, umpteen “Yass Queen” gifs, and appropriately lascivious street dancing down many city streets around the globe, and yet I’d like to pause and consider how pride is not merely happiness or acceptance, but respect. And respect is hard. 

Respect—one’s own worth in relation to others—is the motoring theme behind much of Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011). In this sense, if Weekend can be considered a landmark 21st century film (as indeed it should be, by any number of artistic rubrics), then the pivotal scene is this exchange between Russell (Tom Cullen) and his best (straight) mate Jamie (Jonathan Race). It is the sea change climax before the more expected bittersweet one... 

Click to read more ...


Hump Day Link Night

Vanity Fair Brie Larson reportedly frontrunner to play Captain Marvel. I'll believe that movie when I see it.
Boy Culture 90 things Marilyn Monroe would have done if she'd lived to be 90 today
The Playlist Susanne Bier, the Oscar winning Danish director of Brothers and After the Wedding fame, is rumored to be in the running to direct the next Bond film
Screencraft Do professional readers only read the first ten pages of each screenplay in their stacks? If you're an aspiring screenwriter you should read this.
Variety Jake Gyllenhaal to star in The Division, an adaptation of a video game


People Archives Mark Harris pointed us to this amazing profile of Sandy Dennis, Oscar-winner and crazy cat lady from 1989 
Vox has a detailed analysis and cool sortable list of all major TV characters who died this season, As per usual they're still killing off minorities in disproportionate numbers. Out of the 234 characters that died 29 of them were LGBT and 59 were people of color. 
Interview Mag Did you know that Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are the stars of a new documentary? It'll play on HBO later this year
Towleroad President Obama issues 2016 Pride Month Proclamation. We'll be celebrating here to throughout the month 
Twitter so i played one of those "like this and I will" games and had to reveal 25 crushes from my life. It was fun!  

That Carney/Keira Situation
An update...
Directors and actors came forward to defend Keira Knightley after John Carney's recent remarks about herskill and their time together on Begin Again which we discussed on the most recent  Film Experience Podcast. John Carney has since issued this very self-deprecating public apology.