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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Shame on Me

Yesterday (and the day before for Docs), the WGA announced nominees for their 2005 screenplay awards. Of the 15 nominated screenplays (5 each for Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, and Documentary Screenplay) I have seen a grand total of... ONE. And I've read the script of one other.

At least I have time to do some catch up between now and when the awards are given out!

The lists:

Original Screenplay
Cinderella Man, (Cliff Hollingsworth and Akiva Goldsman, Story by Hollingsworth
Crash, (Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, Story by Haggis)
The 40 Year-Old Virgin, (Judd Apatow & Steve Carell)
Good Night, And Good Luck, (George Clooney & Grant Heslov)
The Squid and The Whale, (Noah Baumbach)

Adapted Screenplay
Brokeback Mountain, (Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, on short story by Annie Proulx)
Capote, (Dan Futterman, on book by Gerald Clarke)
The Constant Gardener, (Jeffrey Caine, on novel by John le Carré)
A History of Violence, (Josh Olson, on graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke)
Syriana, (Stephen Gaghan, on book "See No Evil" by Robert Baer)

Documentary Screenplay
Cowboy Del Amor, (Michele Ohayon)
Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room, (Alex Gibney, on book by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind)
The Fall of Fujimori, (Ellen Perry & Zack Anderson & Kim Roberts)
March of the Penguins, (Narration by Jordan Roberts, on story by Luc Jacquet, screenplay by Jacquet & Michel Fessler)
Street Fight, (Marshall Curry)

I'm not even going to spend the time searching for all those links! So, you all know the script I read was for The Constant Gardener. And you can probably guess that I'm hoping it doesn't win! Which film have I seen? The darkest horse to win, I think -- The 40 Year-Old Virgin. And not just because of the grammatical error in its title!

I don't generally see that many docs in a year, so I don't feel bad that I haven't seen all of those, though I was definitely interested in seeing both Penguins and Enron. The other three I haven't even heard of. The other films are all ones that I would definitely be willing to see, though there are a few that I'd much rather see than the others (Crash, Brokeback, and Violence), and one or two that I am predisposed to dislike (Syriana).

How many of these have you guys seen and/or read?

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Anonymous taZ said...

Well, I have seen Crash, Cinderella Man and 40-Year in the first category.

In the second - The Constant Gardener.

In the third only the Penguins.

I Really recommend you see Crash and Cinderella Man right away!! They have also the strongest screenplay I think.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Eric Andrade said...

For once, I've seen a good deal of the movies before the awards nominations!

I've seen Crash, Good Night & Good Luck, Brokeback Mountain, Constant Gardner, History of Violence, and Syriana. No documentaries.

Crash has a great script behind it. Good Night & Good Luck was a great film, but the way the story was told, I'm not sure about the script getting kudos, especially seeing its contenders in the category.

For my money, I thought that Brokeback was a masterful movie as well. A great story well told. But it's hard to know how much of it was Ang Lee's direction, and how much of it was in the pages. He's a very visual director.

For what it's worth: my money's on Crash for Original SP, and Syriana for Adapted, if for nothing else than the sheer complexity of the storytelling. Impressive.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

I'm batting about .500. Crash was excellent, as was Good Night, and Good Luck. Never had the desire to see Cinderella Man—Beautiful Mind turned me off to Howard-Crowe collaborations. I know nothing about The Squid and the Whale, but I keep seeing it everywhere so it must be good.

Brokeback deserves the nod and will probably win. I'm surprised to see Capote; sure, it was well written, but not award-worthy. Hoffman's performance, on the other hand, is a marvel to watch. He'll win everything. The Constant Gardener was excellent, but more for the direction and performances. Didn't see Violence, but want to. Syriana is my kind of movie, but too many negative reviews have stunted my desire. But I'll probably see it anyway.

Haven't seen Enron, but will. Penguins was great. I'm surprised Grizzly Man and Murderball failed to make the cut. I don't recognize those other titles, either.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Love your blog and your musings. I've seen a handful of the nominated films, which is not a statement I can usually make. Brokeback was outstanding all around. The film prompted me to run out and pick up the short story and screenplay right away. Crash was very evoking and I loved The Squid and The Whale because it rang very true for me (and similar, in some ways, to my current project). Overall, I think it is going to be a good race this awards season. And Jon Stewart is just the icing on this delicious cake of a year!

4:08 AM  
Blogger Fun Joel said...

Nice to see a few new commenters here! Welcome. :-)

Yeah, Cinderella Man doesn't really interest me much, but I'll probably see it eventually anyway. Syriana really doesn't interest me, because I don't want to be preached at, and because I heard such terrible things about it. And I've already seen the interweaving stories done to great effect in Traffic. I've heard amazing things from a lot of people about Brokeback, so that's up there for me to see. And I've also heard seriously mixed things about Crash, though it is definitely still on my list of films I'd love to see.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Leif Smart said...

Think I have seen most of the movies on the list.
I'd say Crash, Brokeback and Penguins are all certain to win, though you can never be too sure.

5:11 AM  
Blogger One.Day.Past.Dead said...

Having just seen Capote -- I must say, it surprised me -- I positively enjoyed it -- the interplay between characters left me not wanting to leave the theatre whereas Penquins -- hell, I couldn't wait to get out of there. It seriously depressed me -- I get shivers just thinking about it now. Loved Crash -- and I watched it in a very bad state of muscle spasm (Las Vegas! Damn it.) Not a fan of The Constant Gardener either, nor Syriana. The Squid is interesting, definitely worth watching. Lots of great choices this year.

5:39 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

i think crash is a bit overrated. i thought the film was o.k., but a bit too convenient, too manipulative. but then, i was born and raised in l.a., so perhaps it has more impact on others.

i thought syrianna was the best film of the year. it's much more interesting to me than traffic; so if you've seen one, imo you haven't seen the other.

just saw brokeback last night. it does seem like a short story streched out into a two-hour movie. the performances and the direction are wonderful, but ultimately neither i nor my girlfriend were captivated. i think it's strengths lie in the above mentioned attributes rather than the script itself.

constant gardener i didn't like and don't understand the hype over it. i attribute it to the "important subject matter" syndrome. had no interest in cinderella man. i mean really, how many comeback/underdog stories do we need? especially another boxing film. i also had no interest in seeing friday night lights, rudy, remember the titans, etc., etc., etc.

have only seen penguins from the doc category. liked it. didn't think it was incredible, but it was cute and interesting.

1:34 AM  

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