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Entries in Screenplays (112)

Saturday
May022015

Do you ever read books just because they'll "soon be a major motion picture"?

That's today's burning question since the April Foolish charts for both screenplays are up this May 2nd (shut it - I tried to finish by April!) and, as per usual, the year's Adapted Screenplay competition looks fairly robust while the Original Screenplay competition is harder to parse since the films don't come with as much pre-release prestige. My whole life I've tended to prefer films written originally for the screen -- this year I'm most curious about what Diablo Cody has written for us with Ricki & The Flash --  but Oscar feels differently and Adapted Screenplays are often where it's at for them.

 

See the two charts here and tell me this:

Have you read any of these books that are 'soon to become major motion pictures' in 2015  do you plan to? And which book-to-film for 2015 do you suspect will only become a "minor motion picture"?

Friday
Apr102015

Posterized: Alex Garland of "Ex Machina" Fame

My schedule has been in complete disarray so I haven't yet seen Ex-Machina, opening today in limited release, but I've heard many thumbs up from the critical community. 

 As an early adopter of this year's "it" girl, Alicia Vikander, I'm excited to see her as a cyborg or whatever she plays in the movie. But we'll get around to Alicia and her men (Domnhall Gleeson & Oscar Isaac) after we see the picture.

Ex Machina (2015) marks Alex Garland's directorial debut but his name is already a familiar one at the movies from adaptations of two of his novels, and as a screenwriter himself. He has also served as an executive producer on a few movies, not pictured here like 28 Weeks Later (2007) which of course spun off from the film he wrote, and this summer's Big Game (2015) an action film starring Samuel L Jackson as the President of the USA. 

HOW MANY GARLAND-RELATED FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN?

THE BEACH (2000) based on his novel
28 DAYS LATER (2002) original screenplay
THE TESSERACT (2003) based on his novel
SUNSHINE (2007) original screenplay
NEVER LET ME GO (2009) his screenplay adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel
DREDD  (2012) his screenplay adaptation based of the comic strip character Judge Dredd

If you've read any of his novels -- the only one that hasn't been adapted for the screen is "The Coma" -- you win bonus points, and must share your feelings. It's the law.

 

Friday
Mar132015

We Can't Wait! #8: Bridge of Spies 

Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) on the set with Tom HanksTeam Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Tim...

Who & What: Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks for the first time since 2004, working from a screenplay written by Joel & Ethan Coen (whose solitary collaboration with Hanks, 2004's The Ladykillers, saw one of his best performances stranded in their worst movie). It's a true story about a lawyer negotiating the release of an American pilot from the Soviet Union during one of the tensest stretches of the Cold War.

Why We're Excited About It: To paraphrase one of the writers' most iconic lines, "Spielberg. The Coens. What do you need, a road map?" The collision of two of the most distinct voices in contemporary American cinema, and in a genre (political thriller) that neither of them have ever quite dabbled in before, is absolutely worth being excited for regardless of any other considerations. But of course, those other considerations exist: Hanks working reuniting with filmmakers who have drawn out some excellent work from him in the past, the maddeningly under-used Amy Ryan with a big part, a ripe historical setting that Hollywood has been weirdly uncurious about exploring. In my totally private capacity as the most tedious kind of craft nerd, finding out what costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone has lined up after her tremendous work in A Most Violent Year is a pretty big draw, too.

What If It All Goes Wrong? Not only do Spielberg and the Coens have distinct voices, they're diametrically opposed voices, too. The king of audience-friendly sentiment and the court jesters of detached cynicism are perhaps likelier to clash atonally than find some third way that combines their disparate strengths. And so soon after Unbroken, it's hard to get unreservedly excited about the prospect of a Coen script that the brothers aren't also directing.

When:
October 16th in the United States - the same weekend that has recently given us 12 Years a Slave and Birdman, which speaks to Disney's understandable suspicion that they have a major Oscar player on their hands.

Previously...
#9 Taxi
#10 Freeheld
#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 3 Animated Films
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

Sunday
Feb222015

Readers Poll Results: Who *Should* Win?

With the Oscars arriving in 12 hours and your host (er, Nathaniel -- your host here at TFE-- not NPH) still sick as a dog, I turn the time over to you. Your votes have been tallied from the polls we ran on the individual Oscar Chart pages over the past month and here's who YOU -- the collective you at least -- are rooting for tonight.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Grand Budapest Hotel won 37% of your hearts. In solid second place was Birdman with 30%. Nightcrawler and Boyhood had their fans with 16% and 12% of the vote respectively. Trailing them all with a poor showing was Foxcatcher with 4%.

acting, director, picture after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb202015

Black History Month: Do The Right Thing (1989)

Our Black History Month celebration (through an Oscar lens) continues with Matthew Eng on Do The Right Thing's Screenplay

Whenever I think about Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, and I’ve thought about it with depressing frequency this past year as I’m sure many cinephiles and non-cinephiles alike have, I often think about one of two things. One is inarguably the greatest opening credits sequence of all time because it’s still such a resilient, red-hot act of hip-hop aggression and because the under-heralded national treasure that is Rosie Perez is never too far from my mind.

The second is a tiny, wordless connection that plays out at the end of a mid-film scene between Ossie Davis’ elderly, self-appointed voice of the community Da Mayor and Christa Rivers’ Ella, the lone girl within the comedic teenage foursome that we see running around throughout the course of the movie. 
In the scene, Ella’s friend Ahmad (Steve White) has just lambasted Da Mayor for daring to criticize the behavior of he and his friends since he himself is a drunk and irresponsible vagrant whose infamous reputation is old news within their Bed-Stuy neighborhood. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb182015

Podcast Pt 2: Oscar Predix Finale

In case you missed part one of this finale, that's here. Let's wrap up our final pre-Oscar prediction discussions: Joe pretends he's not an Inherent Vice fan, Nick sadistically hopes Imitation Game "gets Up in the Aired", and Nathaniel goes full blurb whore on Mr Turner

Oscar Prediction Finale Pt 2
41 Minutes

00:01 -Production Design & Costume Design. Into the Woods spurs dark memories and self parody. But can Grand Budapest actually win both and will Wes Anderson career tribute be the cause?
08:40 -Cinematography. Beautiful across the board
13:12 -Screenplays. Are these the two most difficult categories to predict? Consolation prizes, career tributes, or Best Picture heat?
21:45 -Acting Races. Whose running second behind Julianne Moore?
27:32 -Best Director & Best Picture. Who would we vote for and what about the Academy: will it be Richard Linklater and Boyhood or Alejandro G Inarritu and Birdman or some combo thereof. Either way long-standing theories of everything get disproven and the Academy gets dinged.
36:10 -Exit Game: Who would last year's winners vote for? We read the minds of Blanchett, McConaughey, Leto, and Nyong'o.
40:00 -Boyman Goodbye!

Supplemental Material for this Podcast:
Prediction Finale Part 1
Nick's Top Ten List (in progress)
Joe Reid ranks all 60 Oscar nominated films

Please to enjoy and continue the golden conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes.  

Oscar Prediction Finale Pt 2