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Entries in Screenplays (251)

Monday
Feb252019

Oscar Trivia with the 91st Annual Academy Awards now a wrap

Now that the big show has ended let's talk trivia. Please do share any cool things you noticed in the comments.

PICTURE & DIRECTING

• With Alfonso Cuarón's win we are reminded that Mexico is completely dominant for Best Director prizes in Hollywood of late. Five of the past six winners have been Mexican directors (Damien Chazelle for La La Land being the lone non-Mexican winning). The US is really lagging, and not behind Mexico -- in the ten past ceremonies only two American-born directors have won: Chazelle and Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker

Alfonso Cuarón is the first and ONLY director to win for directing a foreign-language film. Some trivia listings suggest he's the second after Michel Hanavicius for The Artist but that was a silent film, so language isn't relevant...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb182019

Interview: Screenwriter Deborah Davis on her 20 year passion project "The Favourite" 

by Nathaniel R

Deborah Davis, first time screenwriter, is up for an Oscar this weekendDeborah Davis recently took home the BAFTA for her work on the screenplay to Yorgos Lanthimos's stunning tragicomedy and Best Picture hopeful The Favourite. Though Lanthimos has previously co-written his own features this time was attached to a project already in progress. Davis and cowriter Tony McNamara than retooled the screenplay to match Lanthimos's vision. The results were magic, as has long since become obvious.

Before the hardware started arriving we hopped on a cross Atlantic phone call with Deborah Davis briefly. We couldn't find much info about her at the time and were reeling from the realization that the dearth of info came from the fact that The Favourite was her very first movie. As it turns out she became a screenwriter specifically to tell this story. And what a story it is.

Our interview, edited for length and clarity follows...

NATHANIEL: I'm still gobsmacked that this is a first screenplay!

DEBORAH DAVIS: That’s correct, yes. By training I'm a lawyer, but I’ve done quite a lot of journalism. I started to research The Favourite 20 years ago, and I was actually convinced that this story about women in power and the female triangle would make a wonderful film, so I went and learned how to write a script...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb182019

A Shocking First-Time-Ever WGA Surprise!

To all the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, LOSERS!"
-Bo Burnham accepting his WGA prize for Original Screenplay

This is not common at all but last night the Writers Guild of America opted to ditch the Best Picture nominated films and instead chose Can You Ever Forgive Me? in Adapted and Eighth Grade (which was not even nominated for the Oscar *sniffle*) in Original as the year's best screenplays. Though the WGA and the Oscar winners only line up about half the time (some of that due to eligibility differences) it's pretty rare that the WGA skips Best Picture nominees if they have the option of awarding them. The last time they gave their Adapted Screenplay prize to a non Oscar Best Pic contender was American Splendor (2003) and the last time they gave their Original Screenplay to a non Oscar Best Pic contender was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) so we're talking quite a while ago. It's so uncommon that it happening in both categories simultaneously is a downright shock; it's literally never happened in the history of the WGA...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan312019

Blueprints: Memorable scenes from your "Best Adapted Screenplay" nominees

by Jorge Molina

Last week we dove into the nominees for Original Screenplay. Unlike that category, which feels up in the air with a batch of uneven contenders, the adapted nominees reflect a much richer group of screenplays overall. From the pitch-perfect blending of genres and race-commentary in BlackKklansman, to the lyricism and poetry of If Beale Street Could Talk, and from the snark and melancholy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, to the dark ironies that permeate through all the tales in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, andthe interpersonal relationships against the backdrop of superstardom in A Star Is Born, each nominee says what it needs to say in a way only it could have. Let’s have a look at each of the nominees...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan242019

Blueprints: Memorable Scenes from Your "Best Original Screenplay" Nominees

by Jorge Molina

We all rose at the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning to hear Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross banter in a way that we won’t see anyone do on the actual Oscar stage. While we were all bracing for catastrophe (and yes, Bohemian Rhapsody is a Best Picture nominee), the nods balance between expected precursors and delightful surprises (still high on the Marina de Tavira wave). As for Best Original Screenplay, there were no surprises. Four out of the five nominees were pretty locked from very early on. It was the fifth slot that was the question mark. While I was hoping for Bo Burnham’s distillation on teen angst, Paul Schrader’s distillation on environmental nihilism works just fine as well.

After the jump the writers, their history with Oscar, and what scene we think landed them that nomination...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan192019

Film Bitch Awards: The Best Screenplays

by Nathaniel R

We just called to tell you you have amazing screenplays.

Movies are much more than their screenplays. There's a reason they call them motion pictures. But no matter what a filmmaker has up their sleeve in terms of visuals or sound, a sturdy platform from which to lift off is crucial. These ten films (and some finalists, too) were already starting at a significant advantage before the first day of shooting due to the calibre of their words, plots, themes, ideas, and structure. Herewith Nathaniel's ballot in both screenplay categories. We don't expect the bulk of these to be Oscar-nominated on Tuesday (let us not weep for Diablo Cody's Tully, for example, because history will be kind to it) but here's hoping that Eighth Grade, The Favourite, First Reformed, BlacKkKlansman, and Can You Ever Forgive Me? (at least) make their respective Oscar shortlists since they appear to have good shots at doing so. 

P.S. in case you missed them, the visual categories are half done, and the sound categories are complete. You can also see an ongoing nomination tally as we announce at the bottom of the sound page.

Wednesday
Jan162019

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...

 

Click to read more ...