Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited on NPR to talk about the adapted screenplay race. It surprised host Rachel Martin that the screenplay race, it turned out, wasn’t so much about the individual screenplays as it was about the Best Picture category. This is probably the hardest thing to grasp about the way Oscars vote. Everybody votes for everything when it comes to picking the winners in the various categories. So you have actors voting for cinematography, editors voting for screenplay, costumers voting for animation, publicists voting for actors — and everyone votes for Best Picture. The truly best indicator of what the professional industry thinks are really the guild awards.

She was also surprised to hear that those voting for adapted screenplay don’t have to have seen all of the films nominated. Heck, the year Brokeback lost to Crash many Academy members came out and admitted they didn’t see the movie. This year, if you polled Academy members I bet you’d find that there are those voting members who still have to have seen all nine of the nominees. Voting is buzz and perception. When you fall in love with a pretty girl across the room not only do you not see anyone else but you don’t even want to look at anyone else. Such is the conundrum of choosing “best.”

American audiences haven’t quite gotten Hugo, of course. If the fanboys can barely get it (as in, “I didn’t know what movie it was trying to be”) then the pampered, dumbed down American culture ain’t going to get it either. Most of them are being forced into theaters to see The Artist and Hugo, but once they do they are dazzled by them. These are easily two of the best films of the year and yet they are off putting because they don’t fit into the marketing paradigm. Worth noting, most great films don’t. No one knew quite what to do with Dragon Tattoo either – they wanted it to do what the Swedish film did but there was no way David Fincher was going to let that happen. His film is so intricate and layered you can tell how many times someone has seen it by their reaction to it. Steven Zaillian didn’t watch the Swedish film when he did his adaptation so there is really no way it can be called a remake; it is the “American version” if it’s anything. And though the Swedish version is very good, with a wonderful performance by Noomi Rapace, Fincher’s version is leagues beyond it, visually, in its reimagining of Lisbeth Salander, its technical execution and in that unbelievable score, the year’s standout, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. There wasn’t enough time to shake up the Academy and get them to pay attention to it — it came on too late. And with the exclusion of this film, most notably in Picture, Director, Screenplay and Score — their biases are showing. This year proved how very different the Academy really is from the guilds in many ways. They agree on the broad strokes but there are significant differences. The Academy are small enough that their grudges and prejudices, favoritism is evident. The Academy are really more insular, more friend-friendly, less objective. They will enable you when you make something ambitious yet subpar. The Academy has a history of slapping down filmmakers who operate as mavericks — they want you to be good, just not better than they are. So watch for the Academy’s power players to work against Fincher and Co for a while.

When the Academy had ten nominees for Best Picture you saw much more of a representation of guild support overall. So for 2009 and 2010 you had virtually every Best Picture nominee with a corresponding Screenplay nomination. For 2010, it was 9 for 10 nominees; and in 2009 it was 8 for 10. This year, only 5 out of the 9 have corresponding Screenplay nominations. This matches how the Academy had run its Best Picture race for many decades prior, with only five. In those years, only 3 or 4 at the most had Screenplay nominations. So you have to wonder, who’s writing these things and why don’t those scripts get nominated?

Why indeed. Conversely, why didn’t the films that were nominated for Screenplay get into the Best Picture race. It’s best not to go there. But keep in mind that this year, the voting was vulnerable to strategist, friend-friendly voting – and therein lies the problem with this year’s method of choosing Best Picture. The Academy is a secret club — and with 5 or with 10 it was easier to hide the favoritism. But it’s been exposed this year — they’ve really shown themselves to be at once out of touch with movie audiences and absolutely run by alliances, powerful moguls and their buddies. So if you don’t have a lot of friends in Hollywood, or a powerful advocate who has a lot of friends, well, you’re going to have a hard time getting into the secret club. Some of the lesser known, less popular people broke through — like JC Chandor for Margin Call, for instance. That was a long shot but one that paid off.

As far as screenplays go, though, the two biggest surprises were the exclusion of The Help and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. If they are good enough to be nominated for Best Picture they are certainly worth a nomination for writing. You’d think, anyway.

Tate Taylor in particular was screwed over, I think, because he faithfully adapted his childhood friend’s book, adapted it before it was even published and is the main reason for its success. Eric Roth wrote the best screenplay of the year with Loud and Close. Surely Roth has enough friends in the Academy, and most in the Writers branch know what a great writer he is, and yet — it couldn’t get arrested. If it were true, as was suggested on NPR, that voters in the category had actually read Roth’s original screenplay, I feel sure he would have been nominated. And as for Taylor, he just isn’t in the club yet. Moreover, he’s being punished for the film not being PC enough, even though he wrote and directed the highest grossing film in the Best Picture race. Funny, ain’t it?

But let’s dig into Screenplay, shall we?

Best Adapted Screenplay–
Should have been nominated: Steven Zaillian for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Tate Taylor for The Help, Eric Roth for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

1. The Descendants – if the Alexander Payne film isn’t going to win Best Picture, or if George Clooney isn’t going to win Best Actor, The Descendants, like Sideways, seems poised to win Best Adapted Screenplay. And if it did win it would be very deserving. Of all of the adaptations in the category, with the possible exception of Tinker Tailor, The Descendants is the most faithful rendering. It wasn’t just that Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash adapted the novel but they did what most Hollywood productions don’t — they allowed the writer Kari Hart Hemmings not only to be on set through the whole shoot but they even gave her and her husband parts in the film. There is a moral side to both Alexander Payne and George Clooney that is admirable in a world of slash and burn. You know the old joke about the (insert bigoted minority class here) who comes to Hollywood and sleeps with the writer? That wasn’t how The Descendants was going to go. They honored the seed, the earth around it, and what sprouted up from it.

The Descendants is about honoring our past and preserving our future. It is about forgetting and forgiveness. It is about mistakes made, and the hard work it takes to dig yourself out of them. It is about honesty, truth and all of the things you can’t say. It is about what you think people are thinking, who you think they are and who they actually turn out to be if you stop and actually listen to them. Though it’s a movie about a man’s inner journey, his turns come from the influence and the confrontation of women. His daughters, his wife and the wife of the man his wife had an affair with. It is an American story because it is about land ownership, corporate takeover and what a cultural melting pot this country really is. Two films in the race are about the America we know now. Most people watching The Descendants would find some truth in there, uncomfortable though it may be at times, it is wildly profound at the heart of it.

2. Moneyball – Here is an example of a script changing hands many times — like a piece of glass washed up on the shore, its been molded to perfection by many different eyes. Stan Chervin’s original draft flipped over to Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, who then passed it back and forth but, according to them, wrote their own drafts separately. That makes it not wholly a Sorkin script, not like The Social Network, and Zaillian’s presence is felt throughout. Moneyball is probably, of all of the five nominees, the best written film — perhaps not as an adaptation but as a pure work. It is the Descendant’s biggest competition because, like that movie, this and Actor are the two Oscars it can win.

Moneyball is such a great movie, in fact, it’s really one of the bigger debacles of 2011 that Bennett Miller failed to earn a Best Director nomination. Of course, it’s hard to squeeze another one in with these five, but still, it has everything a great movie needs — and it starts with the screenplay. Moneyball is about the different ways we measure success. It is a heartbreaking story about failure being redefined by perspective. The whole movie boils down to that one scene where the player hits a homer but is so used to landing a single he slides to the ground but never looks up to see he’s hit a home run. In Moneyball, Billy Beane (played so tenderly, beautifully by Brad Pitt) lived through heightened expectations, and subsequent disappointment, through those who thought he was a god for five minutes until all that came tumbling down. If Beane measured his own success by his paycheck or by wins he’d have won only a fraction of what life ultimately comes to mean to him. His success is the tiny tendril that reaches from his daughter to him. His success is in faithfully sticking by a team he knows can be about more than just the star players and the World Series. His success is in fixing the problem of players like him, who are plucked from an otherwise rich life and thrust into the limelight way too soon. The rise and fall of baseball players, or celebrities illuminates our own need to watch people become gods just long enough for them to disappoint us. We then take equal amounts of satisfaction tearing them down. He’s such a beautiful loser, Billy Beane. And maybe somewhere in there, we can find our own reflections — our own failures recycled into lasting, shimmering successes, even if they can’t be measured by a shiny, gold prize.


3. Hugo – if there is one bright star to emerge from 2011 it’s John Logan. Perhaps this is because his Rango is quite simply one of the best scripts of the year. But his adaptation of Hugo is really astonishing when you consider what it really is. To get how good Logan’s script for this film is, you have to get what makes Hugo a great movie, and why its strange, vibrant chaos is the very thing that makes it great. Logan loves working with Scorsese, he says in his interview with David Poland, because the two of them have expansive, freed up notions of what movies can be. They aren’t linear attached, but rather, believe that films can take turns here and there and that the smart audience can keep up. Logan worked so well adapting Hugo because the book does on the page what this movie does on the screen — it celebrates the illustration and the words. Hugo’s illustration is Scorsese, his team of visionaries — Dante Ferretti, Thelma, Howard Shore, Bob Richardson, Sandy Powell. It takes Hugo’s imaginative world and shoots it into the sky, scattering tiny pieces of light into the broad expanse of the book’s black and white world. Scorsese takes those intricate line drawings and he plunges the viewer into them.

Hugo is about not being part of this world. Hugo identifies with well built machines because they have a purpose. In his own desperation with day to day life, Scorsese, the odd, hyper manic that he was he found his purpose in film. This is why to Scorsese there is no limit to what he can do with film, up to and including Hugo. Logan never took it at face value that he had to limit himself by what was available in the book, nor by what kids are used to seeing on screen. When people say to me that Hugo isn’t a kid’s movie and that their kids were bored during it I always say back to them, it was never supposed to be the job of filmmakers to dumb down for children. Children should always be encouraged to smart up for great films. Having worked with kids a lot as I raised my daughter I can tell you that they are always up for a challenge, even if it’s more fun, perhaps, to experience something “fun.” Give them more, I say. Teach them how to reach in to movies. Talk them through it, show them why the automaton looks so strange, and why John Logan focused so hard on the character of Isabelle. Hugo is a celebration of the imagination. And believe me, the imagination simply cannot flourish if it is recycling the same stories, the same happy endings, the same easy heroism time and time again. It needs a surprising gust of fresh air. It needs the new. Funnily enough, Hugo is the new and it is the old all at once. It brings to vivid life the past, while diving headlong into the future with 3-D. True, no one knows quite what to make of Hugo — and that is exactly how John Logan likes it.

4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – this is considered a hell of an adaptation, one that took a very intricate book and made a script that captured everything without being too literal or too spare. It kept just enough to honor the book. Co-writer Bridget O’Connor died in September 2010, leaving her husband Peter Straughan to stand alone as an Oscar nominee. I won’t pretend to know what the film is about completely — I know it’s about the cold war, spies and not knowing who is who, not knowing whom to trust. It is a very good film, of course, but it will take time to fully absorb.

5. The Ides of March is an odd film to have here in the adaptation race, but the truth of it is that it really was a total redux of the play, Farragut North. Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon absolutely chose to savage the world of politics and how we see them play out every year. The choices they made absolutely point to our own politicians — our idealization of them and the subsequent, ugly truth that when you get down to it, you have to play the game to even get close to standing at the podium. Clooney as an actor took a risk playing such a dark character, though it’s worth noting he chooses not to limit himself in any way. It helps that he’s mostly successful at what he does. It’s a good script, but its inclusion here feels like a tribute to the effort. Some believe it might pull off a surprise win here, especially if Clooney won’t be winning in the Best Actor category.

Although any of the five can win – it feels to me like it’s down to Moneyball vs. The Descendants. But we will have to wait and see. The Writers Guild is coming up and that will clarify things slightly, at least in the Adapted Screenplay race. Next up, Original.

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  • tintin

    The Descendants!!! Best Picture and Best Screenplay of the year!!!

  • JP

    It`s a tough choice between The Descendants and Moneyball, between the two guys who are probably the best writers in Hollywood after Woody Allen and the Coens. Payne and Sorkin in a close battle for number 2. I stay with The Descendants.

    It`s a great category but inferior to the 2010 one with Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter`s Bone and 127 Hours.

  • Dominik

    I´ve seen three of the candidates (will watch “Hugo” next Saturday), and my vote at this moment would go to “Tinker, Tailor…”, by a mile. I´ve read the novel (really pretty complex and extremely tough to adapt into a 2 hours film), and the screenwriters did a superb job.
    I don´t think I would rank the film into my Top 5 (a lot of excellent films this year), but Oldman and the screenplay deserve their nominations.

    “The Descendants” was an ok movie to me, not among Paynes best work (I would rank “Sideways” and “Election” much higher), and “Moneyball” … honestly, aside Brad Pitt it was a total boredom for me. I don´t know if it´s just because I do know nothing about baseball and probably don´t care about this sport, or because it´s just one of those conventional US sport movies I´ve seen so many times before. Brad Pitt was great, but the rest I found totally forgetable.

  • murtaza

    really fincher’s film was so LAYERED that it never worked as a suspense thriller or as a romantic drama. because it was so LAYERED and INTRICATE.
    it was a hollow film actually, with daniel craig looking as if deliberately not wanting to participate and mara was strictly okay.

  • murtaza

    though i agree with sasha on tate taylor and eric roth being snubbed.

  • It’s extraordinary how close it is between The Descendants and Moneyball in this category. Right from the start, the critics’ groups couldn’t agree on which they preferred: The Descendants won 12 and was nominated for a further 9, Moneyball won 13 and was nominated for a further 8. The Golden Globes went for an original screenplay. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy will likely win the BAFTA, and it perhaps has an outside chance at winning the Oscar (I’d vote for it, at least).

    On one hand, it could all come down to which film wins the WGA (unless another does). But I don’t see that swinging things firmly enough in either film’s favour to say that anyone will be able to make a certain call in this category over the nest two weeks. It’ll be The Descendants vs. Moneyball right down to the wire.

  • AnthonyP

    It’s really annoying when I hear these people don’t watch the movies.

    I fork out my cash every year in an attempt to see everything. Outside of the docs and foregin films this year, I’ve seen every movie in every category except for A separation and W.E. (which I’ll get too. I’m obsessed) Everything! I’m going to animated and live shorts next week.

  • Matt

    I think the Descendants will pick this up. Or it will lose and Clooney will win Best Actor. Either way, I see the Descendants winning one or the other, but not both.

    I think Moneyball is out because of Sorkin. Perhaps too soon after TSN?

    I think Hugo is a wild card. This might be where the reward the film in the big categories. Mind you, Academy folks usually don’t vote based on the “sharing the wealth” principle, which means that The Artist could very well take Woody Allen’s well-worthy win in Original Screenplay

    I agree with AD’s ordering of the likely winners.

  • Nik Grape

    How can one of the worst reviewed films to get a Best Picture nomination, ever, have the best screenplay of last year?

  • The Dude

    “How can one of the worst reviewed films to get a Best Picture nomination, ever, have the best screenplay of last year?”

    Yeah, I’m not sure I understood her point. Tate Taylor deserved, but didn’t deserved, ELIC has a great screenplay, but it sucks, and so on.

    I have seen 3 of those (not Moneyball and Hugo yet) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the best (though Sasha apparently didn’t liked it very much), a complex story told very neatly, never losing faith in it’s audience intelligence, while making it acessible to anyone that was not posting something in the Facebook while watching it.

    That said, I’d be fine with The Descendants winning only to see Dean Pelton winning an Oscar.

  • Nik Grape

    This is a very tough category yet again, with Hugo and Ides of March being the ones with the least amount of chance I think.

    I would not mind seeing either Descendants or Moneyball win, though I have a sneaky suspicion Tinker Tailor might pull off an upset here and that this may be the only Oscar it walks away with.

    I’d still put money on The Descendants though. It’s so fitting and American, the Academy eats that stuff up.

  • Great, complex piece, Sasha! Hats off once again to great writing about, er, great writing.

    But I’m sorry to say, your #5 might win the day when all the AMPAS voters fill out their ballots and want to give George Clooney SOMEthing. And this would be the great irony of ironies, he wins his second oscar for ADAPTED SCREENPLAY!!! He WANTS that second Oscar so bad…I can see Academy members just throwing him THIS bone. If this happens earlier in the evending then you KNOW Jean DuJardin is winning Best Actor. It may be George’s lot to NEVER win another Best Actor trophy until he is the age of Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow. Tom O’Neil calls it “Slap the Stud” syndrome.

  • red_wine

    Either The Descendants or Tinker Tailor should win.

  • Question Mark

    I’d vote for Hugo to win the award and frankly, I think it will. The film is clearly admired by several different facets of the Academy and that will translate into at least one major award, be it Scorsese or Logan. Logan has had such a versatile year (Hugo, Rango AND Coriolanus, three projects that could scarcely be more different), he’s a former nominee, and it all adds up to a win.

    Sorkin and Zaillian had arguably the toughest job of the bunch in adaptation, since the original Moneyball book by Michael Lewis didn’t really have a story or a plot. S/Z did an admirable job but I think some AMPAS voters will balk at rewarding Sorkin in consecutive years.

    I wasn’t overly impressed with Descendants, but it would be amusing to see it win for a couple of reasons. First of all, Dean Pelton from Community would have an Oscar! And secondly, it would be Payne’s SECOND Oscar, so many Sasha would finally stop talking about how Payne is overlooked. 😉

  • The Jack

    I hated “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” after I first saw it – I thought it was incomprehensible to a major fault. But it was only after discussing it and thinking about it afterwards that I began to really realise what (I think) it was about, and how the incomprehensibility of it is kind of the point. It’s about a group of office workers, middle-managers who are desperately trying to keep fighting a war that no one cares about because that’s the only thing that gives their life meaning. They’re all desperate to fight amongst themselves to try and discover who was the mole and who was stealing secrets from one to give them to another – when really it doesn’t matter at all.

  • BrianB

    Zaillian was nominated for the wrong movie.

  • SFMike

    Just a thought: maybe the impression that Tate Taylor got to adapt (and direct) “The Help” BECAUSE the book’s author was a childhood friend was reason enough for a lot of people to “snub” him? Also, I have yet to read a review that gushes over what a wonderful screenplay “EL&IC” has, so I’m not getting the argument there either.

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is an awful film with a good screenplay. I think Sasha’s point is somewhere close to that. I thought Stephen Daldry and Thomas Horn slaughtered Eric Roth’s script, which I thought didn’t do a bad job of adapting irritating material.

  • joe

    tinker tailor soldier spy should win. the descendants will win.

  • Edkargir

    Christopher Hampton should have been nominated for his brilliant script for A DANGEROUS METHOD which received no nomination but should have also been nominated for BP BD BA BSA. of the films nominated I’D vote for the DESCENDENTS which I think will win. This catergory is often the conSOLATION price Payne won for Sideway which should have one for BEST PICTURE over Million DOLLAR BABY.

  • Gregoire

    I thought the weakest part about Tinker, Tailor was the screenplay, a bit too tangled and obtuse. It was made a wonderful film by its direction, actors and art direction.

    This is The Descendants to lose, I think. Moneyball is clearly a close second, but Sorkin did win last year. Either would be a fine choice.

    Moneyball’s screenplay is arguably a greater feat — turning a story of spreadsheets into an engaging picture. Sorkin is a master of push-forward script momentum. But Descendants was delivered on the shoulders of a great cast of true ensemble actors. Moneyball was Pitt, Hill, and two dozen small roles. Descendants is simply on a better platform for viewers to respond to.

  • tclaw

    “How can one of the worst reviewed films to get a Best Picture nomination, ever, have the best screenplay of last year?”

    Sasha has been a champion of this screenplay since she read it months before the movie came out. That doesn’t mean the movie the sprouted from the seed was very good.

    I love the Tinker Tailor and Moneyball scripts, while Hugo and The Descendants are slightly behind in my mind (still haven’t seen Ides of March)

    I think the probable winner will be The Descendants with Hugo as a possible spoiler. If Hugo wins this and gets some momentum in the tech categories then watch out for Marty.

  • Roberto

    My wife told me that yesterday she saw an interview with Nicolas Cage where he was asked what he thought about the nomination of Demian Bichir. He said that he had not seen the movie but that he will before voting since he is a member of the Academy. If he has not gotten to see the movie yet I do not think he will make it. Afterwards he told the interview that the decisions on how to select the recipients should be done by a jury. What dissapointing hear this from an Academy Award winner.

    Did some one else hear this?

  • Daveylow

    Sasha, as someone who writes fiction I think this is one of the best pieces you’ve posted this year. I like four of the five nominated scripts very much. I think The Descendants, Moneyball, and Hugo all deserve to win.

    Tinker Tailor is an intelligent script but it needed to be a bit longer, giving us some more background about the characters who were possible moles.

    I just wasn’t crazy about The Ides of March screenplay, I felt it didn’t dig deep enough into Clooney’s character.

  • Daveylow

    Edkargir– I agree with you that A Dangerous Method was sadly overlooked this season. A strange film but one that stays with you.

  • Roberto

    I have seen the five nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay and although I would like to see “The Descendants” getting an award I would like to see “Moneyball” taking the prize. It is not about baseball, trust me. It is about life: school, work, family. What a great film and what a way to tell the story. Hugo and Moneyball are the best films of the year for me.

    I have not seen “A Separation” in the Original Screenplay category but I want “The Artist” to take the prize just a little more than “Midnight in Paris” winning. Very difficult category.

  • I think describing Moneyball as “a heartbreaking story about failure being redefined by perspective” is dead on, especially in light of Billy Beane just receiving a contract extension through 2019. He’s a dedicated dude…

    Moneyball was the sort of miraculous film that had no right to be as good as it was. The book it’s based on, though brilliant and fascinating, has very little arc. Oakland didn’t win in 2002, nor have they won since. The property lacks romance and the conflicts arise mainly in Beane arguing with scouts and attempting to draft certain prospects. Even his battles with Art Howe (Hoffman) were inclusions by the screenwriters. Zaillian and Sorkin took inside baseball and brought it out to the cineplex by creating a tight, tight, tight story about likable characters trying to build something great. Bennett Miller’s a casualty in the Oscar nominations, to be sure, but he was given one hell of a script to work with and I’m glad AMPAS at least got that right.

  • Diego

    When you write a post about screenplays you should talk about what really makes a great screenplay: the plot points, how it desenvolves the characters, how it organize the acts and the scenes, how one scene open the way to the next one, how it desenvolves the dialogues. Just to write silly and naive words about the movies “subjective” is so ridiculous – and get worst when you realise that the post´s writer didn´t understand the more edgy and original screenplay of the year and thinks that 2 convencional american scripts are the greatest. And sorry for my english, im latin american

  • Pat

    Good analysis!
    This is my personal favourite category of the Oscars. I like to try and read some of the books for potential nominees beforehand. I haven’t read Moneyball (I was clearly way off thinking ONE DAY was the better choice for summer reading…) but I think the others do a great job in adapting. I don’t quite agree that fidelty is necessarily the mark of a good adaptation, but I think DESCENDANTS is the best script of the lot. It captures the generational depth of the novel, but it improves on it too. Payne et al. have a much better way of capturing the language of the younger generation, and their references to social media and technology are executed much better than Hemmings’ prose. (It’s ironic how she uses the Oscars to satirize our obsession with pop culture, isn’t it?)

    TINKER TAILOR is also one hell of an adaptation. They really condensed a lot without dumbing it down. They also nailed the tone.

    And I agree that The Help and Dragon Tattoo were screwed big time.

    (Now getting ahead for Oscars 2012 by starting to read ‘Midnight’s Children’!)

  • steve50

    Of the nominees (seems I have to start every sentence that way this year), Moneyball succeeded brilliantly and is the best of the bunch, Ides of March has no business being near this list, let alone on it, TTSS was good, but not top five, and The Descendants and Hugo were close to perfect.

    And I’m another one getting ready for next year’s race by reading Cloud Atlas – now there’s a tough adaptation.

  • Jesus Alonso

    I think that given The Artist is gonna win Picture and Director, actor might go for either Du Jardin or Pitt and leave Clooney to win Adapted Screenplay. I don’t think they “owe” Payne a second screenwriting Oscar just yet, so I think is possible The Descendants leaves the room emptyhanded. I wonder, also, what Brad needs to do to win. Or Cruise. Or Travolta. It’s rather amazing they never won.

  • Definitely sad that Drive and A Dangerous Method didn’t make it through this year. I thought Drive was a fantastic interpretation, wonderfully paced, and full of colourful characters, but I suspect it maybe was a little too artful or gorey for members of the Academy…I get it! A Dangerous Method was a fantastic film, very theatrical, and Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of his own play is as good as any other work by this fantastic wordsman, including Dangerous Liaisons…so that was sad not to see that make it in.

    However, the five films that made it through are all deserving in their own right. And everyone knows that only five films can make it into the slots, and ultimately there will only be one winner, so congratulations to all the nominees.

    I would love to see Moneyball take it, as I think it is a fabulously contemporary new American classic, but I suspect The Descendants will take it so Payne can get a win a la Sideways.

  • w

    “Should have been nominated: Steven Zaillian for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Tate Taylor for The Help, Eric Roth for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

    Good lord, why? What did any of these films do to deserve accolades for their writing?

  • Pete

    All these movies stink- Buncha hillbillies tryin’ to act cute and talkin’ about a buncha crap nobody cares about. Wanna see a good movie? Watch The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

  • daytona 500
    Just like that, your post gets me taking action about all of this. ryan braun

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