On Sunday, February 27thThe Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences will present the 83rdAcademy Awards. The elite of Hollywood, filmmakers and stars, will converge on this special day of the year. This year the Academy Awards will be hosted by actress Anne Hathaway and actor James Franco. The Awards will take place at Oscar’s home: The Kodak Theater on Hollywood and Highland. Awards will be handed out for twenty four categories this year.
My Oscar nominations are broken down by category. This is in-depth look at each nominated film.
The Movie Awards Examiner’s pick for Best Adapted Screenplay is Aaron Sorkin for the film The Social Network.
Adapted Screenplay is defined as a screenplay adapted from another source (play, book, etc.) and all sequels are automatically considered to be adapted work.
This year there are five films nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay:
- The Social Network: Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
- Toy Story 3: Screenplay by Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
- True Grit: Written for the Screen by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
- Winter’s Bone: Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
- 127 Hours: Screenplay by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
This year all five films have garnered award for their excellence. And the base for any film is a screenplay. Without a screenplay, there is no film. And thus, without a great screenplay, there cannot be a great film.
127 Hours by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy is adapted from the book Between a Rock and a Hardplace by Aron Ralston.They had the task of taking this true story of a man’s harrowing ordeal as he is trapped on a desolate hiking trail with no way of getting help. And the difficulty with the story is to captivate the attention of the audience and sustain the attention for a full length film. The only film that comes to mind to do this as effectively was Cast Away in 2000.
Winter’s Bone by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini was based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell. Granik and Rosellini took a fictional story and transplanted its events to a small town in southern Missouri, near the Arkansas border. It is a gripping tale of a seventeen year-old girl in the midst of the crisis that could leave her family homeless. With her mentally ill mother, this teenager must face the most dangerous situations in order to find her father and provide for much younger siblings. This screenplay for this film provides the necessary base to bring forth such an authentic story to the screen.
Toy Story 3, is a sequel to the Toy Story films. The story was written by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich and the screenplay was written by Michael Arndt. Toy Story 2 was released in 1999. So, it is the task of the story tellers to update this sequel without losing the appeal of the main characters Buzz Lightyear and Woody. Although their owner Andy is grown and no longer needs them, the story brings all the characters to a full circle moment, enchanting all. Animation, targeted at a young audience, presents its own challenges which were met beyond expectation. This summer blockbuster would not have been a possibility without a foundation of a good story and well-written screenplay.
True Grit written by Joel and Ethan Coen is based on the novel by Charles Portis. Ethan and Joel Coen not only had the task of creating an interesting tale for the screen, but they had the extra burden of remaking a classic John Wayne film. To make this possible the Coen brothers went back to the novel, and although most of the film may seem familiar to the older version, it approaches the characters with an originality that is unexpected and the last scene of the film is a delightful change from the original film. This film has well-written dialogue scenes that are witty and brisk. It is this foundation that creates a basis for the strong young girl in a Wild West come to life and ultimately brought it s stars Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges Oscar nominations for their acting in the film.
But without a doubt, The Social Network, is my choice to bring home an Oscar for the screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin. Based on The Accidental Millionaires by Ben Mezrich, this story tells the origins of Facebook and brings about a well-lace story of young adulthood, college life and desires that lead to the destruction of trust and friendship. In addition to the book, Sorkin read hours of transcripts of depositions from the law suits filed against Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg. The expectations for this film were high as it geared towards younger crowds in which today’s social interactions are defined by Facebook. Creating a story that intertwines a story of a young man’s life building one of the largest companies and the legal consequences of varied lawsuits can make it difficult to keep a clear focus. No doubt, his tenure writing the television series “The West Wing,” gave Sorkin experience writing about intricate events without losing touch of the human condition.
Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones, no texting, don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
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