Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Which among the nominees was the Best Adapted Screenplay of 2013?

Before Midnight - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
7
27%
Captain Phillips - Billy Ray
0
No votes
Philomena - Steve Coogan,Jeff Pope
3
12%
12 Years a Slave - John Ridley
13
50%
The Wolf of Wall Street - Terence Winter
3
12%
 
Total votes: 26

FilmFan720
Tenured
Posts: 3393
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:35 pm

I haven't seen Philomena yet, but feel like I can still vote here...

The Wolf of Wall Street is obviously the weakest of the remaining four screenplays here. It is much too long, especially considering that the film has nothing new to say after about the 20 minute mark. It doersn't build at all, starting with a flashforward to one of the most ridiculous moments of the film (the midget throwing), which means that the film has nowhere to go beyond that. All of the early stuff (which contains some of the best writing) falls to the wayside.

I like 12 Years a Slave a lot, but most of the problems the film has stem from the script. There are a lot of times that McQueen and his actors have to pick up the slack for the film, whether because it makes leaps of character that aren't sustained or just the nature of getting from one place to another. It's a fine nominee, especially in light of the film's successes, but won't get a vote from me.

Captain Phillips is a much better film that most were probably expecting (or even than maybe it should have been), and while a lot of people place that achievement on Paul Greengrass' work, I think Billy Ray is more to compliment. Besides the opening scene , the script is really tight, giving us exactly what we need to get into the heist and then making each of the parties on the boat and life boat a rounded figure. In terms of true story Hollywood filmmaking, this is an exemplary screenplay that I would gladly vote for.

Except that we have Before Midnight in the category (when it should be in the other category). I'm one of those who considers Linklater's trilogy amongst the finest achievements in modern cinema, and this film is just as good as it's masterful predecessor. The bravery of the three writers to take this series into such a different and difficult path is admirable enough, but then they also open the scope of the films into other relationships and frame the film really into three long conversations that are about as beautifully paced as anything I've heard. Like all great sequels, it deepens what we already have seen yet stands on it's own as a dramatic piece.

Amongst the also-rans, there are two other films I would have nominated and maybe even considered voting for: The Spectacular Now and The Bling Ring (although the direction is a stronger element of that film).
"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good."
- Minor Myers, Jr.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6192
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:56 pm

As BJ says, briefly, because this is all too recent.

Whether Philomena was faithful to the events of real life is immaterial to me. The fact that the story was hokey and banal is more significant, and is the reason it gets the first bump.

Captain Phillips is a decent enough docudrama, which means the writer did his job, even if Ray didn't find any hidden treasures within the facts to elevate the story above interesting re-creation. A respectable nominee.

The Wolf of Wall Street is just what BJ says: a collection of individually well-written scenes that don't add up to a freshly compelling view of anything. In terms of subject matter, it's Good Fellas meets Wall Street, but at greater (too great) length.

I've never been the fan of the Linklater/Delpy/Hawke series that others here are. The first one I thought was actively bad -- clunkily staged ("Let's sit here for a while"; "Let's walk over here"), all knit around dialogue that might have seemed profound to me had I been 22 at the time I saw it. Unfortunately, I was in my 40s, and the philosophizing struck me as shallow and poseur-ish. The second film I liked somewhat better, though the let's-just-walk-and-talk concept still didn't thrill me, and there were elements I found risible (her reason for missing their previously planned rendezvous was her grandmother's funeral? In my world, "grandmother's funeral" is universal code for a bullshit excuse, but the film seemed to take it seriously). However...some of the talk was interesting, and the ending worked nicely.

I do think this is easily the best of the three, partly because I got to spend time with other characters, and because some of the scenes (like the opening with the son at the airport) actually had dramatic action involved, beyond "I want to talk about this". So, this is the first one I'd actively support for a nomination, but it still wouldn't get my vote.

Because I was so annoyed throughout Oscar season by the Team 12 Years rooting at various sites, I almost lost sight of the fact that I liked the movie quite a bit. I think it's by far the most interesting of the five nominees (the strong competition was mostly on the original side this year), and it gets my vote in a snap.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4015
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:56 pm

I guess I should start here with these Screenplay races, though quickly, since I feel like I've talked these movies to death recently. (I think I even started the Categories One-by-One thread in this category.)

There really weren't too many options in this category this year, so given the slim pickings, the slate was mostly deserving. Blue is the Warmest Color is the one script I really wish would have made the list -- even though I thought the overall contour of the plot had some generic beats, so many of its individual scenes were written with great insight and emotional power.

Philomena would be the first to go, for its overall blandness, tonal inconsistencies, and too many scenes that just don't pass the logic test for how actual humans would behave in the given scenario.

Captain Phillips wasn't undeserving of its mention -- it's a solidly written and engaging thriller, with unusual grace notes (the sympathetic characterization of Barkhad Abdi's character, Hanks's final scene). But I don't think you could argue the writing was its most notable element -- if it were to be nominated in only one category, Director instead of Screenplay seems like it would have made more sense, rather than the reverse.

The Wolf of Wall Street had a lot of really sharp, funny dialogue, some very entertaining set pieces (the "cerebral palsy" overdose scene just perfectly skirts the line between humor and horror), and a fascinating central character brought excitingly to life by its star. But it was, on the whole, too long, certainly too long given that its ideas weren't exactly the height of originality.

The entire Before Sunrise series is so wonderful, I'm very tempted to throw a vote toward Before Midnight just for continuing the series as beautifully and successfully as it does. This third installment is less hopeful-romantic than the other two, and far more world weary, which is exactly as it should be. The extended hotel fight scene is just a superbly written exchange, which captures the roundabout way fights between loved ones actually occur in real life -- in fits and starts, with detours, full of humor in between pointed dramatic barbs. And the main theme of the entire series -- the passing of time -- is so beautifully symbolized in the last scene, where Hawke & Delpy watch the sun slowly dip below the horizon, until it's gone. This would be a very worthy winner.

But I see no need to take away the Oscar from 12 Years a Slave, which was acclaimed most heavily as the Steve McQueen show, but which still features an ambitious and nuanced script to go along with its directorial flourish. One of the things I like best about the script is the way it gives so many of the characters different shadings, when they could have so easily slipped into obvious white/black dichotomies. There's Cumberbatch's outward benevolence, Dillahunt's self-serving survivalism, Fassbender's vicious arrogance, Paulson's cruel jealousy...as well as Ejiofor's strength in the face of all odds, Nyong'o's struggle to see the good in a dreadful situation, Oduye's overwhelming despair, Woodard's sense of acceptance. Even in just a few beats (in Woodard's case, one scene) John Ridley (and, by all accounts, an uncredited McQueen) inform the viewer so much about the backstories and inner lives of the film's characters, and create a complex and broad portrait of slavery in America. It's not a groundbreaking piece of writing or anything, but it's a very strong piece of craft overall, and it gets my vote.

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15324
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby Big Magilla » Sat May 03, 2014 4:10 am

One way to quickly find topics is to alphabetize topics either temporarily or permanently. Go to your User Control Panel - Board Preferences - display Topics Ordering - select Subject.

nightwingnova
Temp
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:48 pm

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby nightwingnova » Sat May 03, 2014 2:14 am

thanks. I lost track of it because it is so far down the queue - there are more recent posts for the years 2008 - 2011, so I thought we haven't done it yet.

Big Magilla wrote:
nightwingnova wrote:What happened to the film slate for 2012? Are we going to get to the 2013 film slate before it?


No, it's here:
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=9393

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15324
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby Big Magilla » Fri May 02, 2014 8:05 pm

nightwingnova wrote:What happened to the film slate for 2012? Are we going to get to the 2013 film slate before it?


No, it's here:
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=9393

User avatar
Precious Doll
Tenured
Posts: 3034
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby Precious Doll » Fri May 02, 2014 6:20 pm

Pass.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

nightwingnova
Temp
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:48 pm

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby nightwingnova » Fri May 02, 2014 6:02 pm

What happened to the film slate for 2012? Are we going to get to the 2013 film slate before it?

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7140
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby Sabin » Fri May 02, 2014 5:27 pm

Easy choice. While 12 Years a Slave is one of the more deserving winners of the past few years (it's still difficult to think of The Social Network as being an adapted anything), it's third act is a bit wan. The dialogue is incredibly rich though. Can't really begrudge it a win. But Before Midnight is was the best written film I saw in 2013.

1. BEFORE MIDNIGHT, Richard Linklater
2. 12 YEARS A SLAVE, John Ridley
3. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, Terence Winter
4. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, Billy Ray
5. PHILOMENA, Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope
Last edited by Sabin on Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15324
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Best Adapted Screenplay 2013

Postby Big Magilla » Fri May 02, 2014 4:59 pm

With a little less than two weeks to go before the DVD release of the last Best Picture nominee we turn to a different category.

Writer-producer Terence Winter, best known for TV's The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, was the man responsible for adapting Jordan Belfort's chest-thumping memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street. How faithful an adaptation it was I have no idea, but as a story it really isn't much of anything - just three hours of Animal House style antics. Winter should stick to TV.

Steve Coogan's adaptation of Philomena is not an adaptation so much as a reinvention of The Lost Child of Philomena Lee with the lost child hardly given any screen time. It should have been called Philomena and Martin because that's what it is - as much about investigative reporter Martin Sixsmith as it is about the retired nurse searching for the child that was taken from her fifty years earlier. Not only does Coogan, with some help from co-writer Jeff Pope, put his character into the story, he puts him into things the real Sixsmith never did. Sixsmith did accompany Philomena on her trip to America, but it was Philomena's daughter who had discovered who her mother's first child became, not Sixsmith who is Church of England, not the lapsed Catholic that lapsed Catholic Coogan invented to allow him to mutter "fucking Catholics" and tell off an elderly nun, neither of which the real Sixmsmith did. That the film succeeds despite Coogan, is because of Judi Dench's deftly delicate performance, which is something of a miracle. The screenplay is not.

Shattered Glass writer and Hunger Games adapter Billy Ray's screenplay for Captain Phillips is intelligent, literate and evenly emotionally rewarding, things we don't necessarily expect from an action-adventure film. It's a worthy nominee, but not in the same category as the two remaining nominees.

Director Richard Linklater and co-stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke came up with a nice little romance called Before Sunset in 1995 that went nowhere near the Oscars. A surprising sequel nine years later called Before Sunset charmed everyone including the Academy which nominated it for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2004 Oscars. Another nine years, another delightfully surprising sequel and another nomination for Before Midnight. Will there be another one in 2022 to nominate at the 95th Annual Academy Awards? Time will tell, in the meantime they have their second joint nomination.

John Ridley's screenplay for 12 Years a Slave does a remarkable job of faithfully transferring Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir to the screen, emphasis on "faithfully". Twenty wins including the Oscar and counting. It gets my vote.


Return to “81st and Other 9th Decade Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest