Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Awards-Nazi Award nominations: Adapted Screenplay

I hate to be a downer (the whole reason I blog at all is to celebrate the movies), but I gotta admit: weak year for Adapted Screenplays. I struggled to find five that I felt merited awards consideration. And in a normal year, my "Just missed" titles wouldn't even be third tier contenders.

But it is what it is, and the five that I did decide on are still fine works. Read about them after the cut.

12 Years a Slave (John Ridely)
Distilling the antiquated memoirs of Solomon Northrup into such an eloquent piece could not have been a lean feat, yet Ridley navigates it with eloquent period dialect and meaningful metaphors both verbal and visual.

Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
The disparity between two worlds – one of affluence and one with no opportunity at all – is made sharply visible. One of the smartest decisions of Ray's no-nonsense screenplay is to humanize its antagonists as well as the hero at its centre.

Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
Coogan and Pope understand the importance of writing to theme in order to flesh out the bathetic elements of the plot. Their adaptation bears lots of rich thematic fibre to probe, from religious corruption to class disparity.

Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton)
Beautifully written characters, exceptional dramatic structure, and effective symbolism that never wastes a single frame or line of dialogue. In sum: Cretton's screenplay has it all. A good story, wonderfully told though conventional formalism.

The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)
Willful satire that revels in a free-form comic energy and punchy prose; A backhanded indictment of a despicable freak show told in antithetically entertaining fashion. This Wolf's bite is every bit as bad as its bark.

Just missed:
Ernest & Celestine (Daniel Pennac)
The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce)
Iron Man 3 (Shane Black, Drew Pearce)
Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)
Man of Steel (David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan)


  1. Replies
    1. OK, Amish: I'm giving you ONE guess as to why Before Midnight isn't here.

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  3. Hmmm... I wish you saw 'The Spectacular Now' and 'Blue is the Warmest Colour' and I also wish u considered Before Midnight an adapted script rather than original. Those would really fill out this list.

    1. Only so much time in a year. I can always come back and revise these if I catch up with worthy contenders later.

    2. lol, thats tha beauty of these lists, updates can always be made. I will definitely be sharing mine with you when I get around to seeing a few more films.