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Alicia Vikander cast as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Only supporting actress winners are allowed to play this role!

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Entries in Screenplays (152)

Friday
Mar042016

Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Eric here with a take on the new Tina Fey film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, an adaptation of journalist Kim Barker’s memoir of her three years as a war reporter in Afghanistan. 

It’s hard to watch WTF and not think of the film’s clear antecedent, Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams:  both films are custom-tailored star vehicles that take a Western audience into a foreign culture, finding a tone between the comedy we expect from the leads, and light drama that allows them to expand their personas a bit...  

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb232016

5 Days til Oscar. "5" being the Sacrosanct Number.

OSCAR VOTING CLOSES TODAY! CEREMONY THIS SUNDAY.

The Film Experience had quite a scare earlier this season when it was suggested that the Academy might change the number of nominees per category (ostensibly to promote diversity though it would send a terrible message of "now, you might be worthy with more slots. might not" We still don't know if they'll spring this ghastly proposition on us and whether it will ruin every chart and stat for the future. The varying number of nominees in Best Picture already makes for messy comparisons from year to year which used to be half the fun.

The sacrosanct number is 5 and it should not ever change. Any deviation from 5 feels blasphemous as in those years when Original Song or Short Films kept changing the number or the continued satanic tradition of denying the Makeup and Hairstylist branch two of their deserved nominations each year - the only category with 3.

So here's to five, the best number. Five forever. FIVE BY FIVE. Never change the number, Academy! Never.

Just for fun here are the 5 categories this year with the highest across-the-board quality

 

  1. Best Actress - All wonderful. And from mostly great films, too! 
  2. Original Score - When the worst nominee is __ you've got playlist heaven
  3. Adapted Screenplay - Mostly wonderful and filled with films about women: Brooklyn, Carol, Room. And the two most deserving screenplays are written by women, too: Phyllis Nagy & Emma Donoghue
  4. Cinematography - Don't quite understand what Robert Richardson is doing here again but he's no slouch in general and otherwise this is a list for the all time list of great lists in this particular category. 
  5. Visual Effects - It was a toss up for this fifth slot but it's worth including to point out that for once they didn't go "Most" and actually included two films with very convincing effects (Ex Machina & The Revenant) that would work without those visual effects, too. Worthy Best Supporting Visual Effects is a nice change of pace here.

5 of my favorite Oscar nominee interviews this season in case you missed any: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), Sandy Powell (Carol), and Jack Fisk (The Revenant)

 

Tuesday
Feb232016

Oscar Screenplay Records That Could Be Broken

Manuel here to talk Oscar nominated screenplays. We first greeted them by looking at their first lines of dialogue, we crunched the numbers about how 2015 was a good year for female scribes, ranked them by quotability, and this week we’re taking a more playful approach. Think of it as a way to find some levity as we near the Big Day.

Now, we know there are frontrunners (and some dark horses) but I put all of that aside and imagined a world where every screenplay nominee has a shot and offered some records that could be broken Sunday night.

IF Bridge of Spies wins
Joel & Ethan Coen would join the ranks of most awarded screenwriters of all time, tying Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Francis Ford Coppola, and Paddy Chayefsky, all of whom have three wins, though Allen holds the distinction of winning all three for Original screenplays.

IF Ex Machina wins
It would be the first film with a Latin title to win (previous failed bids include Equus and Europa Europa)

IF Inside Out wins
It would be the first animated film to win a screenplay award (previous failed bids include Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up in the Original Screenplay category and Toy Story 3 in Adapted)

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb212016

More Guild Honors: Make-Up, Sound, and Adapted Scripts

Three sets of awards were handed out yesterday so let's talk MUAHS (Makeup and Hair Stylists), CAS (Cinema Audio Society) and USC Scripters.

USC Scripter
This Adapted Screenplay prize (not a guild prize) is from the University of Southern California but it's built itself up as quite a tradition in awards season. This is its 28th year! The prize goes to both the original source material author and the Screenwriter adapting it. Their winner usually wins the Oscar and they chose (no surprise) The Big Short originally a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis (all three the movies based on his books have been nominated for Best Picture) and adapted by Charles Randolph & Adam McKay. 

ICYMI: Manuel's fun ranking of the most quotable Screenplay nominees

Cinema Audio Society
The Revenant took this prize beating Mad Max, Bridge of Spies, Star Wars, and The Hateful Eight. It's up against the first three again on Oscar night plus The Martian. 

Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild
Period Makeup: Mad Max Fury Road
Period Hair: Cinderella 
Special Makeup Effects: Mad Max Fury Road
Contemporary Makeup: Furious 7
Contemporary Hairstyling: Pitch Perfect 2

Carol keeps losing prizes (sigh). Anyway, solid choices though one can quibble. I never took in Furious 7 so that one is a bit of a headscratcher sight unseen... especially with Sicario in the running. It's also a bit perplexing to think of Pitch Perfect 2's hair work topping Spy's funny and elaborate quick changes (which I favoried in my own awardage) or Ex Machina's sleek style. You can see the complete MUAHS awards here (American Horror Story: Hotel, Game of Thrones and Dancing with the Stars were big in their TV categories).

Do you think Fury Road, The Revenant, and The Big Short will repeat these wins at the Oscars?

Wednesday
Feb172016

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...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb172016

Links: Misunderstood Meryl, Angry Leo, Cheap Deadpool

MNPP All is well since Jason has seen The Witch and loves it. It's so spooky, guys. Go see it this weekend
Pajiba "11 Things I Learned from 'Star Wars and the Power of Costume' Exhibit"
Playbill Bull Durham: The Musical (?) may be headed to Broadway soon
Scriptnotes how to introduce characters in screenplays without being mocked on Twitter. (For those of you are like what? This is in reference to a recent writing controversy that we spoke of right here)
i09 says Zootopia is the best film Disney Animation has made in 20 years (!) 


MNPP freaks out over the new Pee Wee Herman Netflix trailer
Simply Streep Screencaps of Meryl Streep in the Florence Foster Jenkins teaser
Boy Culture have you heard about Strike a Pose, the documentary about the Madonna documentary Truth or Dare?
Boy Culture your semi-annual reminder that Miriam Margolyes is an international treasure and gay hero 
Awards Daily "everyone owes Meryl Streep an apology"
/Film Julianne Moore offered the villain role in The Kingsmen 2. This historically hasn't gone well for her (See: The Seventh Son or Hunger Games) Why Julianne? You already have tons of money.
Hairpin "how not to write something" 
Toyland the coolest stuff from Toy Fair 2016 including *gasp* female action figures

Deadpool at #1
i09 everything they cut out of Deadpool to get the budget way down (which now means its going to be insanely profitable)
/Film Rumors are that Wolverine 3 is considering an "R" rating following Deadpool's success 

And James Gunn, who did the superheroes being mocking and sarcastic before Deadpool, took to Twitter to hype his forthcoming blockbuster...

 

 

Oscar Mania
The Guardian on why The Big Short should win Best Picture. I haven't to admit I couldn't follow this argument at all (perhaps you can?) but maybe I was just thrown because they start the video talking about surprise winners and cite Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump? Of all movies. That was a behemoth that year and couldn't lose. People say such strange things when they're talking about the Oscars!
• THR Robert Richardson and other cinematographers calling for a separate category for VFX heavy films. I absolutely agree that this is a problem - this year not so much but usually
RED CARPET RAMPAGE. Help Leonardo DiCaprio finally win his Oscar! I tried to play this on my phone last night. It's actually hilarious. Especially the bonus round "Act Harder!" LOL...

 

 

Sunday
Feb142016

Red Carpet: BAFTA PreParty, Sci-Tech, and WGA

Eight beauties for you this afternoon as we get closer and closer to Oscar and more and more awards are handed out. We'll know the BAFTA winners in a few hours (though they still don't televise it live making it hard to take seriously in this day and age) but here are four women from the pre-party.

Sandy Powell (just interviewed!), Dakota Johnson, Cate Blanchett, and Bel Powley. Was the dress code black and white? 

 

Olivia Munn co-hosted the Academy's Sci-Tech Awards. Meanwhile at the WGA Awards, Adepero Oduye (gorgeous in yellow!) showed up to support The Big Short, Gina Gershon, and Diane Lane were also out on the red carpet. Olivia's busy but these other three deserve bigger roles than they've been getting -- they've got the talent and the charisma for them. Hopefully the guild members, all writers after all, will be inspired by their presence to create richer roles for them or actresses like them. 

WGA WINNERS
Original SPOTLIGHT
Adapted THE BIG SHORT
Documentary GOING CLEAR
Television FARGO

We've every reason to expect that Original and Adapted will tilt the same way at the Oscars on the 28th but what do you think is running second in both races? We're guessing Inside Out (Original)  in distant second and Room (Adapted) a closer second.