April 19, 2014

Tag Archives: writer

Oscars®: The Top 25 (Best Original Screenplay)

Continuing a new weekly series I’m doing…we’re talking the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories. Aside from the shorts and something like Best Sound Mixing like I mentioned previously, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks and months, including of course the big eight categories.
Today I’ll even knock off the first of those big ones, the ever interesting Best Original Screenplay category. Depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing specifically or just giving more of a broad overview of the winners, but for now, I’ll still keeping it simple early on. Like I said last week though, in all honesty, you all mostly just want to see the list anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs…
Best Original Screenplay is personally one of my favorite Oscar categories, due to the absolute creativity that you can see on display here. Voters sometimes even go out of their comfort zone in honoring scripts written for projects that they’d never touch in the Best Picture category (though that’s begun to change a bit). I think you’ll be able to see a pattern emerging among my winners, as some of their more out there choices have been my favorites. Maybe that says more about me than it does about members of the Academy, but hey, we should all be thankful that some of these screenplays were able to win those Oscars, as they’ve inspired countless other writers in the years since.
This week, for this screenplay category, what I’m going to do is give you the list right now, with a few words about each of the top 25 victors that I’ve chosen. The big eight categories cater to this style nicely, so that’s likely how it’ll go for all of those. Here we go:
25. American Beauty (Alan Ball) – The film hasn’t aged well, but the script itself remains scathingly funny to me. A satire of middle class life and mid life crises, Alan Ball hit on something here, at least at the time. He hasn’t been able to get back to that level since then with his work, but man did he deserve the Oscar for this one, no question about that.
24. Pillow [...]

Oscars®: Thinking Out Loud: Random Movie Musings

I’m trying something new here today…namely, just sort of thinking out loud about a few different topics, hence the title. Some of these musings might turn into full blown articles down the line, but for now, this is basically a look at what’s swimming around in my head. Everything will be more or less Oscar related, but it’ll all tie into movies, that much I’m sure of. For now, I’ll present things just as a series of bullet point paragraphs, but we’ll see how it evolves over the course of the weeks to come. I’m aiming to do this every Saturday, but again, we’ll see how everything goes from here. This first installment is very much just an experiment.
-Am I the only one who’s not interested in trying to make a feud between 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and the film’s writer John Ridley? Yes, there might have been some hard feelings for a time over whether McQueen was going to be able to get a co-writing credit for the film, but does it really matter if Ridley overtly thanks him in his acceptance speeches, or vice-versa? It’s possible that I just put less stock in manufactured controversy than most, but I really don’t see what the fuss is about this. In the end, they both have Oscars and are Academy Award winners (plus their movie won Best Picture), so shouldn’t that be the trump card in this situation?
-We’re almost a week removed from the Oscar telecast, but does anyone else feel like the awards season is still going on? Maybe it’s just my brain still packed with winner possibilities, but there have been moments this week where I’ve found myself still considering the chances of upsets in certain categories. Perhaps I’m just retroactively trying to figure out exactly what went down on Sunday, but this doesn’t usually happen to me, so it’s all the more noticeable.
-Is it just me or are movies slowly getting better during the months of January, February, and March? I know that March has been steadily turning into a summer month over the past few years, but January and February have long been little more than dumping grounds. The former still has plenty of expanding Academy Award nominees to fill up multiplexes, but some interesting independent titles are popping up, while the latter month is nowhere near as porous as I remember it [...]

And the BAFTA Award Winners are…

Argo was named Best Film at tonight’s EE British Academy Film Awards hosted by Stephen Fry, held at London’s Royal Opera House. And the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award winners are…
BEST FILM
WINNER – ARGO Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
LES MISÉRABLES Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
LINCOLN Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
ANNA KARENINA Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster, Tom Stoppard
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL John Madden, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Ol Parker
LES MISÉRABLES Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh, William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin
WINNER – SKYFALL Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
WINNER – BART LAYTON (Director), DIMITRI DOGANIS (Producer) The Imposter
DAVID MORRIS (Director), JACQUI MORRIS (Director/Producer) McCullin
DEXTER FLETCHER (Director/Writer), DANNY KING (Writer) Wild Bill
JAMES BOBIN (Director) The Muppets
TINA GHARAVI (Director/Writer) I Am Nasrine
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
WINNER – *AMOUR Michael Haneke, Margaret Ménégoz
HEADHUNTERS Morten Tyldum, Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn
THE HUNT Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Morten Kaufmann
RUST AND BONE Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
UNTOUCHABLE Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun
DOCUMENTARY
THE IMPOSTER Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis
MARLEY Kevin Macdonald, Steve Bing, Charles Steel
McCULLIN David Morris, Jacqui Morris
WINNER – SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
WEST OF MEMPHIS Amy Berg
ANIMATED FILM
WINNER – BRAVE Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
FRANKENWEENIE Tim Burton
PARANORMAN Sam Fell, Chris Butler
DIRECTOR
AMOUR Michael Haneke
WINNER – ARGO Ben Affleck
DJANGO UNCHAINED Quentin Tarantino
LIFE OF PI Ang Lee
ZERO DARK THIRTY Kathryn Bigelow
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
AMOUR Michael Haneke
WINNER – DJANGO UNCHAINED Quentin Tarantino
THE MASTER Paul Thomas Anderson
MOONRISE KINGDOM Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
ARGO Chris Terrio
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
LIFE OF PI David Magee
LINCOLN Tony Kushner
WINNER – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK David O. Russell
LEADING ACTOR
BEN AFFLECK Argo
BRADLEY COOPER Silver Linings Playbook
WINNER – DANIEL DAY-LEWIS Lincoln
HUGH JACKMAN Les Misérables
JOAQUIN PHOENIX The Master
LEADING ACTRESS
WINNER – EMMANUELLE RIVA Amour
HELEN MIRREN Hitchcock
JENNIFER LAWRENCE Silver Linings Playbook
JESSICA CHASTAIN Zero Dark Thirty
MARION COTILLARD Rust and Bone
SUPPORTING ACTOR
ALAN ARKIN Argo
WINNER – CHRISTOPH WALTZ Django Unchained
JAVIER BARDEM Skyfall
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN The Master
TOMMY LEE JONES Lincoln
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS The Master
WINNER – ANNE HATHAWAY Les Misérables
HELEN HUNT The Sessions
JUDI DENCH Skyfall
SALLY FIELD Lincoln
ORIGINAL MUSIC
ANNA KARENINA Dario Marianelli
ARGO Alexandre Desplat
LIFE OF [...]

Disney confirms J.J. Abrams to direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.
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Robert Pattinson’s fans don’t want him asked about Kristen Stewart

HollywoodNews.com: Robert Pattinson’s fans definitely have his back as they showed when he sat down for Times Talks to promote ‘Cosmopolis.’
Writer David Carr spoke with the actor and compared his relationship drama to that of “[Prince] Charles and Diana,” states E! News. Carr was reportedly booed for the comment and as Pattinson stumbled to respond, an audience member allegedly shouted, “Next question!”
However, Pattinson did later try to explain why fans are so into celebrity couples: “I think it’s because America really wants to have a royal family. They want to pick their king and queen.”
Do you like how he is handling himself?
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Joseph-Gordon Levitt slams ‘GQ’ for recent article

HollywoodNews.com: Joseph-Gordon Levitt is on the cover of the current issue of ‘GQ,’ but he has a problem with the magazine after they printed information about his brother.
Levitt’s brother, Dan, passed away in 2010 and the magazine reports in their article that it was from a drug overdose, states TMZ. However, Levitt isn’t happy with the comments about him.
“I’m writing this because I have a problem with what their article says about my brother. I’ll be honest, it really made me feel terrible,” he wrote.
“The ‘allegations’ to which [the writer] must be referring were made by a handful of gossip websites. They are factually incorrect according to the coroner’s office and the police department,” Levitt continued on about the drug overdose comment.
He also went on to talk about how wonderful his brother was and that he did speak to the interviewer about that aspect, but that they chose to focus on the death.
What do you think about the issue?
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Kendall, Kylie Jenner are writing a book

HollywoodNews.com: The Kardashian/Jenner clan can’t stop working, and now the two youngest are taking on a new project.
Kendall and Kylie Jenner recently revealed that they are working on a new fiction book about two sisters, states E! News. “We want to do something so different, something that we really love,” Kendall said about writing a sci-fi book set 200 years in the future.
They are reportedly working with writer Maya Sloane on the book they hope to release next summer.
Do you think it will be any good?
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Close-knit Hollywood clans

HollywoodNews.com: “I knew we were really famous when we were killed on South Park,” Rosanna Arquette tells VF.com writer Benjamin Wallace of she and her siblings. ”They killed the Baldwin family and the Arquette family. I said, ‘Wow, we’re really famous.’” Close-knit Hollywood clans such as the Baldwins, Cusacks, Wayanses, and Arquettes have a leg up (not to mention some undeniably good genes), it seems, sharing tips about everything from choosing a project that might strike Oscar gold to avoiding the paparazzi. “The funny thing is,” explains Stephen Baldwin, “we were all pretty famous locally before we were famous, ’cause my friends had my dad as a teacher.
So in the six degrees of Massapequa separation, we knew a lot of people. And Alec was student president and the quarterback. And we were just a popular family. And I think that kind of prepared us—like, if we can conquer Massapequa, the planet seems doable.”
Photo VF.COM
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Gwyneth Paltrow strikes back at ghostwriter claims

HollywoodNews.com: Gwyneth Paltrow recently released a cookbook called ‘My Father’s Daughter,’ but she wants to now make it clear that the book is all hers.
A ‘New York Times’ article recently described Julia Turshen as the ghostwriter for Paltrow’s book, but the actress isn’t letting this slide, states RadarOnline.com. “Love @nytimes dining section but this weeks facts need checking. No ghost writer on my cookbook, I wrote every word myself,” Paltrow commented on Facebook.
And it does seem that even though the two have worked together on different projects, Turshen doesn’t appear to have written Paltrow’s cookbook.
Do you think the book is all Paltrow?
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John Carter’s Director Andrew Stanton Talks

HollywoodNews.com: Newly released talk from JOHN CARTER Director Andrew Stanton discussing his life in story last week in Long Beach, CA.
Andrew Stanton is the writer behind the three hugely successful Pixar Toy Story movies as well as the writer and director of WALL-E, the opening sequence of which will go down in, well, my personal history as being one of the most beautiful animation pieces of all time. His new live action movie, John Carter, comes out in March. He takes to the TED2012 stage and starts with a bang: telling a long-winded, accent-strewn, expletive-filled joke that promptly sets the crowd on fire. Storytelling, you see, is joke-telling. And now he continues to challenge himself to see if he can accord his own greatest storytelling commandment–”make me care”–by telling us his own life story … backwards.
“And that’s what ultimately led me to talking about story here at TED.” Two big laughs in a row; Stanton really is a comedian, as well as everything else!
So the story, naturally, starts with John Carter, based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, of which Burroughs is the narrator. “The book is fundamentally making a promise; this story will lead somewhere worth time,” he says. “A well told promise is like a pebble being pulled back in a slingshot that propels you through the story to the end.”
2008
After showing us a clip from Wall-E, Stanton says he used everything he had, wanting to experiment with the idea that storytelling without dialogue was the purest form of cinematic storytelling. That led to another realization: “We all want to work for our meal when we watch a movie; we just don’t want to know that we’re doing it.”
2002
When Stanton worked with Bob Peterson on Finding Nemo, their unifying theory was 2+2. The twist; to make the audience put things together. “Don’t give them 4. Give them 2+2.” No, it’s not an exact science. Stories, he says, are not a widget. “Stories are inevitable if they’re good but they’re not predictable.”
2001
Stanton took an acting seminar with Judith Weston and learned that all well-drawn characters have a spine. ”They have a dominant unconcsious goal that they’re striving for, an itch they can never scratch.” This was a huge moment for Stanton, who took this on as a dominant theme for his own storytelling.
1998
Hooked on storytelling, he read everything he could, and found the phrase by William Archer: “Drama [...]

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