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Entries in Screenplays (198)

Thursday
Dec142017

Blueprints: "mother!"

With the announcement of the Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations this week, we are officially in the awards race. So from now until Oscars, Jorge will be examining 2017’s most talked-about movies and their screenplays. First, he shows up uninvited at a party...

mother! is a fever dream. The stream-of-consciousness journey of a woman that just wants people to get the hell out of her space. It’s a biblical allegory, a metaphor for the destruction of the environment, a hallucination of the protagonist. It’s all of these, and it is none.

Watching the movie is a trip (take that word for whatever meaning). It’s more visceral than narrative. Trying to find a traditional, cohesive plot in it is useless, and it’s better to experience it through gut reactions of the vignettes presented. But how does the screenplay look? Exactly as you would imagine...

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Sunday
Dec102017

44 days til Oscar nominations. Screenplay stats!

by Nathaniel R

With only 44 days until Oscar nominations and lots of confusion as to what might be nominated for screenplay (there are seemingly 7 locks for Original and only 1 contender for Adapted -- the math doesn't work. Haha!) let's use today's numerical trivia prompt for writing awards. Fact: Oscar's 4 favorite screenwriters have 44 nominations between them for writing. That's a lot of hogging of writing honors. They are...

OSCAR'S 20 FAVORITE SCREENWRITERS
(Numbers below are for screenwriting categories only)
01 Woody Allen (16 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Acting and Directing races. Classics include Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan and more...
02 Billy Wilder (12 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Directing and Producing races. Classics include Sunset Blvd, The Apartment, Some Like it Hot, and more...
03 John Huston (8 nominations and 1 win)
He's also been in the Acting, Directing, and Producing races. Classics include The African Queen, The Asphalt Jungle, Prizzi's Honor and more...
04 Federico Fellini (8 nominations but he never won for writing)
He's also been in the Directing, and Producing races and of course his films have taken multiple Foreign Language Film Oscars. He's the Academy's favorite Italian... yes, even more than Sophia Loren. Classics include La Dolce Vita, I Vitelloni, 8½ and more...

It's perhaps no surprise that all of these writers are also directors and thus were in charge of bringing their own words to visual life. With greater control comes greater consistency in results. Without checking before you hit the jump can you guess which working writers are next in line to join this group?

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Thursday
Dec072017

Blueprints: "Juno"

This week Juno celebrated its tenth anniversary, so Jorge takes a look at how Diablo Cody’s iconic dialogue was inflicted with meaning by the cast.

Juno first hit theaters ten years ago as a low budget indie hopeful. It ended its run as a major box office hit and Oscar favorite. It was the movie that put Ellen Page on the map, boosted Jason Reitman’s career, and gave us arguably the definitive Jennifer Garner performance. 

Screenwriter Diablo Cody won the Oscar for her debut screenplay, and she instantly became a recognizable name, the way many directors but few writers are. And not without merit. One of Juno’s biggest legacy is its quick-witted, snarky dialogue that, many times since then, has tried to be replicated...

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Thursday
Nov302017

Blueprints: "Call Me by Your Name"

Wrapping up Call Me by Your Name week at The Film Experience, so Jorge takes a look at its screenplay to talk one of the biggest and most successful changes made from the novel to the screen. It’s peachy.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect about adapting a book into a movie is converting the literary language into something visual; show with images what in the page is being told with words. This is especially hard if the novel takes place within a single character’s mind and perception, like “Call Me by Your Name” does with Elio.

One of the easier solutions (sometimes merited, others not so much) is translating the thoughts that the character has on the book into voice-over. It’s a simple, straight-forward way to effectively convey ideas and feelings.

Call Me by Your Name, the film, has been lauded (among many other things) for avoiding this go-to trope, and instead using action and visual cues to convey Elio’s quiet longing for Oliver, and the intimacy and slow simmer of their romance. However, it wasn’t always like this...

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Saturday
Nov252017

What on earth will be nominated for Adapted Screenplay?

Past Oscar years have often had an imbalance in the screenplay categories, with original being the designated place for edgy (for Oscar at least) critical darlings and adapted screenplay being the place where all the prestige Best Pictures gather to receive their admirer. But old rules are going away, "prestige" has lost meaning, and this year nearly all the critical darlings AND consensus Best Picture likelies have been deemed "original" -it's seriously stacked, just look at the updated chart. 

So what gets nominated for Adapted in this vacuum? Here's an alphabetical list of 15 possibilities but beyond Call Me By Your Name none of them seem like safe bets, exactly. So which way does this go? After scratching my head I've made a guess on the chart but I'm eager to hear what you're thinking on that matter.

  • Beguiled
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Call Me By Your Name 
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
  • Last Flag Flying
  • Logan
  • The Lost City of Z
  • Molly's Game
  • Mudbound
  • Stronger
  • Victoria and Abdul
  • Wonder
  • Wonder Woman
  • Wonderstruck
Thursday
Nov232017

Blueprints: "August: Osage County"

Happy Thanksgiving! In these days of family forcefully gathering around for a meal, Jorge takes a look into “August: Osage County” to remind you that your relatives perhaps aren’t so bad after all.

 

Not unlike Thanksgiving itself, Tracy Lett’s August: Osage County is about a broken family that is bound to be around each other as past secrets, tensions and grievances slowly rise up to the surface.

The emotional climax of both the 2008 Tony-winning play and its subsequent 2013 Oscar-nominated adaptation is an almost 20-minute dinner sequence after the funeral that brought them all together. Matriarch Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) asserts her toxic matriarchal power over her family. And slowly but surely, tensions escalate to the point of explosion...

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