BEST SCREENPLAY Discussion Thread

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  • Profile photo of Spenser DavisSpenser Davis
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    #71909

    As I try to do every year, I have created a tentative list of films that could possibly contend in the Academy Awards’ Screenplay races. If you notice the absence of a heavy-hitter or care to dispute the ranking of a certain film, please say so. I will also try to keep an eye on the screenplay precursor awards and note them on this initial post.

    Last Updated: December 12th, 2012

    Best Original Screenplay

    1. ZERO DARK THIRTY, Mark Boal
    2. MOONRISE KINGDOM, Wes Andersen & Roman Coppola
    3. DJANGO UNCHAINED, Quentin Tarantino
    4. AMOUR, Michael Haneke
    5. THE MASTER, Paul Thomas Anderson

    6. LOOPER, Rian Johnson
    7. THE INTOUCHABLES, Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
    8. SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, Martin McDonagh
    9. WRECK-IT RALPH, Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee, Rich Moore, Jim Reardon
    10. FLIGHT, John Gatins

    OTHER CONTENDERS
    BRAVE, Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Steve Purcell
    COMPLIANCE, Craig Zobel
    PROMISED LAND, Matt Damon, Dave Eggers, John Krasinski
    RUST AND BONE, Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Craig Davidson
    THIS IS 40, Judd Apatow

    AWARD WINNERS
    NYFCC: N/A
    L.A. Film Critics: N/A
    NBR: “Looper”

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    1. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, David O. Russell
    2. LINCOLN, Tony Kuschner
    3. ARGO, Chris Terrio
    4. LES MISERABLES, William Nicholson
    5. THE SESSIONS, Ben Lewin

    6. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
    7. LIFE OF PI, David Magee
    8. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
    9. ANNA KARENINA, Tom Stoppard
    10. KILLING THEM SOFTLY, Andrew Dominik

    OTHER CONTENDERS
    THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, Ol Parker
    HITCHCOCK, John J. McLaughlin
    SKYFALL, John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
    QUARTET, Ronald Harwood

    AWARD WINNERS
    NYFCC: “Lincoln”
    L.A. Film Critics: “Argo”
    NBR: “Silver Linings Playbook”

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    Profile photo of teribabypook
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    #71911

    Some nice mentions, but will WGA accept all of these screenplays as eligible? And about The Great Gatsby, will it be among the 2012 considerations?

    I’ve only seen five of these so far, so I’m not qualified to say much, except to say that my favorite screenplay thus far isnt on the list.

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    Profile photo of Emma FrostMiss Frost
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    #71912

    The Great Gatsby isn’t elgible for this year. It’s coming out mid next year.

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    Profile photo of Spenser DavisSpenser Davis
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    #71913

    Ah yes! Thank you. I meant to take it off and forgot to. Thanks.

    Babypook, could you tell us the name of your favorite screenplay? That helps me add it to the list. 🙂

    EDIT: Also, the WGA doesn’t have to deem any of these screenplays eligible for them to be nominated at the Oscars. One fairly humorous case of this is Quentin Tarantino, who doesn’t adhere to the WGA rules and therefore isn’t eligible for their awards, despite his two Oscar nods (and one win, of course). The same goes for animated features – Pixar has never been nominated in the Original or Adapted WGA races, but has six screenplay nominations to-date.

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    Profile photo of teribabypook
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    #71914

    It’s Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano for The Intouchables. I realize what it’s up against. But there it is. I’d also include Looper in the mix. That film wraps up time paradox better than anything I’ve seen before it. There  are also other, quieter films with great screenplays which I’d say have virtually no chance of any Oscar attention.

    Tom Stoppard is Anna Karenina’s greatest asset imo; more than the director or the cast, (who are also great btw.) imho, besides Tolstoy.

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    Profile photo of ScottfergusonScottferguson
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    #71915

    Amour should be about a lock for original nomination. Flight I suspect could easily make it. (This comes from having seen them both; it took seeing Flight to recognize how great the screenplay is, along with so much other high quality across the board).

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    Halo_Insider
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    #71916

    Spenser, I think Lincoln should be placed under the Adapted category (it’s partially based on Doris K Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln). You may also be overestimating Safety Not Guaranteed, though, granted I only say that based on the  (so far quite good) reviews of Flight that I’ve been hearing.  

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    Profile photo of ScottfergusonScottferguson
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    #71917

    Though I don’t particularly care for The Intouchables, I certainly would include it as a likely candidate for whichever category it is eligible.

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    Profile photo of JoeDamianWayne
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    #71918

    Safety Not Guaranteed is definitely not gonna happen.

    Looper should be added to the Original list.

    Argo is listed as an Adapted Screenplay on WB’s FYC site. 

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    Profile photo of ScottfergusonScottferguson
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    #71919

    Sometimes nominations are more likely when a line becomes a classic. John Goodman has one in Flight – repeated in both of his scenes – that might follow him for the rest of his life.

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    Profile photo of Spenser DavisSpenser Davis
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    #71920

    SF and Babypook – thank you both for the mention of The Intouchables. I think that the writers’ branch has proven time and again that a foreign film screenplay, if powerful enough, can make the cut. I’ll bump up Amour and include The Intouchables.

    Halo_Insider – Right after making this list, I started hearing more and more great things about Flight, which seems to have been an mediocre-ly anticipated film that has suprised a lot of people (including SF, whose passion for the film is encouraging when making lists like this). I’ll move Lincoln for now, but it could be that the “based on factual events” clause for Original Screenplay may override any biography that might have assisted Kuschner is writing the screenplay.

    DamianWayne – I am bumping down Safety Not Guaranteed but not erasing it from the list just yet; it has the potential to be one of those indie flicks that re-emerges late in the year. But I will certainly include Looper in the Original list. Also, thanks for the info on Argo; its primary source material was a news article which – going on precedence here – didn’t stop Dog Day Afternoon from being considered Original Screenplay. FYC sites are always helpful.

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    Profile photo of Spenser DavisSpenser Davis
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    #71921

    For some reason, the title The Intouchables rang a bell with me. I looked up the trailer and recognized it immediately. I saw the trailer in theaters, and I remember thinking how beautiful and touching a film it had the potential to be. I’ve included it in the Top Ten, because why the heck not?

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    Profile photo of JunkJunk
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    #71922

    Although I don’t think it stands a chance, but Hope Springs definitely belongs to the “Other Contenders” list.

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    Profile photo of Bride of SatanCarbon Based Lifeform
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    #71923

    Tony Kushner and Tom Stoppard in the bottom five? I don’t think so.

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    Profile photo of GabrielGabriel
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    #71924

    Original Screenplay is one of the top categories that I follow and am most passionate about. I wish people gave more credit to screenwriting!

    i really want Moonrise Kingdom to win, and I think it has a good chance.

    I also really want Damsels in Distress by Whit Stillman to be nominated. I was absolutely blown away by that script (and the film too, of course) but I think it’s too under-the-radar to gain awards season traction. That said, Stillman was nominated for “Metropolitan” in 1990, so it’s not like the Academy doesn’t know who he is.

    Do we think Zoe Kazan’s Ruby Sparks has a shot at on original screenplay nod?

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