by Sasha Stone and Ryan Adams
The USC Scripter will be held tomorrow night. You can watch the Scripter on the live feed.
It’s rare that I come across writing that turns my head, especially in the Oscar race because the screenplay is inextricably tied to the Best Picture contender. When we envision the screenplay we envision the movie. We don’t look at them as separate works. And generally speaking what wins Best Picture also wins Screenplay. The Scripter has a hit and miss record with Oscar. Lately, the WGA has been more reliable in terms of predicting how the screenplay award goes but the Scripter is an interesting award in and of itself. One of our goals as Oscar watchers should really be to learn to appreciate the awards as separate and not ONLY in terms of how they relate to the Oscars. After all, fucking your way to the middle isn’t always the best course of action, as the preacher said.
When the awards season began and the critics were praising Tony Kushner’s moving, complex Lincoln, a script that took six years to write from one of the most famous books ever about a president, I mostly forgot it was awards season and that buzz can determine how things rise and how things fall. It seemed for a time that Lincoln would be a no-brainer for the Scripter, which honors both the original work and the adaptation. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book trounces all of the competition for source material with the possible exception of Life of Pi. Now that Argo has captured the buzz, one has to wonder whether Chris Terrio will win the Scripter and the WGA and the Oscar. It is probably between Lincoln and Argo but I think the Scripter judges will pick Lincoln.