Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Awards-Nazi Awards: Adapted Screenplay

Competitive field this year, especially with previously assumed originals Moonlight and Loving being shifted (correctly, I believe) to the race for Best Adapted Screenplay. Here are the scribes who I feel did the best job at turning their non-cinematic source material into beautiful moving pictures:

ARRIVAL (Eric Heisserer)
Ted Chiang's circular short story seemed like an unfilmmable project to many readers, but Heisserer shapes it into a thoughtful big screen wonderment with a great sense of build. Deftly unlocks its internal mysteries in service of bigger payoffs down the road.

LION (Luke Davies)
It could easily have succumbed to the typical 'true story' trappings of lesser Oscar bait, but Davies finds the lonely psychological drama beneath the surface inspiration of Saroo Brierley's autobio. Delicately maps out the overlap between past and present.

LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Whit Stillman)
This nifty transformation of Jane Austen's scant epistolary novel Lady Susan required a fair bit of invention on Stillman's part, but it fits beautifully into her oeuvre of barbed dialogue and dry observational humour.

MOONLIGHT (Barry Jenkins)
Turns an experimental theatre piece by Tarrell McCraney into a holistic triptych with more concrete ties between separate chapters. Leans less on dialogue than descriptive experiences to inform us about character.

SILENCE (Jay Cocks, Martin Scorsese)
Glacially paced but never boring, this complex, thought-provoking meditation on faith an Imperialism (from Shûsaku Endô's landmark novel) leaves a lot for patient audiences to unpack. Moments of narration that would mar a lesser work earn their impact here.

Other considerations:
Elle (David Birke)
The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyung)
The Light Between Oceans (Derek Cianfrance)
Loving (Jeff Nichols)
The Witch (Robert Eggers)

1 comment:

  1. Great choices! Adapted category got better over time. Also, I definitely warmed up to Moonlight being adapted. Awesome picks!