Friday, February 16, 2007

Favorite Original Screenplay winners

My fellow cubicle slave Dan Maley, as he was trying in vein to convince me that Gladys Knight is a better soul singer than Al Green, then explained "I just like making lists."

Well, so do I. They're not only a great way to waste time, but they also help you remember things that may have eluded your memory's grasp years ago. Today I've compiled a list of my favorite Original Screenplay winners at the Academy Awards. Why? Because I wanted to. Nuff said.

Looking at it, it strikes me that round about the late 70s to early 80s was when the Academy made this and the Adapted Screenplay category the real consolation prizes, giving them to the flicks they really knew were the best of the year. This year, those dubious honors will hopefully go to Guillermo del Toro for "Pan's Labyrinth," my favorite movie of 2006, and Alfonso Cuaron and his fellow writers for their adaptation of "Children of Men."

Anyways, here goes:

1952: The Lavender Hill Mob (T.E.B. Clarke)
Sure, it's pretty much a Keystone Cops-style screwball comedy, but as those go they don't get much funnier than "The Lavender Hill Mob." It made me laugh out loud as a kid, and it still does today.

1968: The Producers (Mel Brooks)
Before I went back and looked at the list of winners, I was convinced that the Academy's bias against comedy had been an affliction since the beginning. Even with that bias, it would have been nearly impossible to overlook this one, not my favorite Mel Brooks movie (still "Young Frankenstein"), but very funny all the same, and Zero Mostel is just perfect.

1972: The Candidate (Jeremy Larner)
Speaking of "Young Frankenstein," Peter Lorre was great as a campaign operative in this somewhat-too-preachy look at what happens to an idealist candidate (Robert Redford) after he actually gets elected to office. It's a bit dated now, but watching it recently I found it still has plenty to say about the grind politicians go through to win office.

1976: Network (Paddy Chayefsky)
This one may be best known for Peter Finch's "mad as hell" meltdown, probably the most quoted (and misquoted) speech in film history, but it has a lot more to say about the dangers of media consolidation. It's that rare movie that may be even more timely now than it was then. Watch it and be afraid, very afraid.

1979: Breaking Away (Steve Tesich)
This is easily my favorite among the movies on this list. Sports underdog fans may claim "Rudy" or "Hoosiers" as their top dog, but when I was 9 years old, there was nothing better than this tale of an Indiana dude who just wants to race his bicycle with the Italians. Jackie Earle Haley, nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year, was great as Moocher, basically a slightly older version of his "Bad News Bears" character.

1994: Pulp Fiction (Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino; Stories by Roger Avary and Quentin Tarantino}
Not much needs to be said about this one. "Jackie Brown" is still my favorite Tarantino flick, but there are none quite as cool as "Pulp Fiction." If anyone who reads this actually lives in the Macon area, you can see it on the big screen again March 7 at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Regal Rivergate 14's Flashback Festival. If you're at the 7:30 show, I'll see you there.

1995: The Usual Suspects (Christopher McQuarrie)
The beauty in McQuarrie's script is in the puzzle it constructs, piece by piece. The first time I watched this Bryan Singer flick, I didn't get it. When it was over, I was just scratching my head and muttering that there was no way Verbal's story actually made sense. After multiple viewings, however, I eventually caught up.

1996: Fargo (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
The Coens have a rare gift, when they choose to use it, of putting viewers completely in a specific time and place. They may have done it slightly better with "O Brother Where Art Thou," but thanks to a remarkable performance from Frances McDormand, this one comes in a close second.

2000: Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
Cameron Crowe's last two flicks ("Elizabethtown" and the simply unnecessary "Vanilla Sky") have just been real dogs. He needs to get working again to remind us that, when he sticks to the essentials - love and pop music - he can craft a timeless tale. According to the IMDB he has absolutely nothing on the horizon, so just go back and watch this one again (and avoid the "Untitled" cut - it really adds nothing but more time.)

2001: Gosford Park (Julian Fellowes)
Fellowes' challenge here, which he accomplished with style, was to craft a great Robert Altman movie not written by Altman himself. With this murder mystery set at an English country estate, he managed to craft one of the better ensemble movies for the master of that genre.

So, there you have it. I'm now running very late for work. Hope you found something here for your rental queue, and please feel free to add any titles you think I snubbed.


Mercurie said...

Well, when it comes to winners for the Original Screenplay Oscar, I have a few favourites. Of course, Citizen Kane and The Apartment are up there, but I also like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Chinatown, and Almost Famous. As to this year, I am hoping it goes to Pan's Labyrinth, which should have gotten a Best Picture nod (for that matter, del Toro should have gotten a Best Director nod, too...).

Reel Fanatic said...

Pan's Labyrinth was the all-around biggest snub this year to me, Mercurie, which says a lot considering it did manage to snag six nominations in all ... And I'm definitely with you on Butch Cassidy . that one almost made my top 10

Christopher55 said...

Love Butch, too. I'd have to include on my list: The Godfather, To Kill a Mockingbird, Sunset Blvd. and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Of course, the story of how Casablanca was written is too cool.

Reel Fanatic said...

Those are all great choices, Christopher, though I don't think they were all winners in this Oscar category ... To Kill a Mockingbird, in particular, is just a flawless adaptation of a timeless book

Mimi said...

A discerning list here. I'm impressed. I have too many favorite movies. My list would be the ones I didn't like.

In the original screenplay category, that award usually matches to a best motion picture nominee, and/or the Writer's Guild nominee. This year, all five best motion picture nominees are in the screenplay categories, four in directing.

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE won the Writer's Guild award for original screenplay, but the director is not nominated. THE QUEEN has won a number of screenplay awards. If BABEL wins best director, it will probably win this category, and best motion picture, too.

In the adapted screenplay, THE DEPARTED won the W. G. Award, and if it wins best director, it will probably win this category, and best motion picture, too.

Conversely, whomever wins either of the screenplay categories, and best director, usually wins the best motion picture Oscar for the associated movie. Watch who wins best director. If either of the winning movies in the screenplay categories match the movie for which the director won, that should be the best motion picture. Announce it as the winner before the motion picture award and impress your friends. Sh-h-h-h, don't tell them how you knew. :-)

Of course, look out for a curve ball if UNITED 93 wins the drector award, or the "sleeper" that might slip though if the votes are close.

Enjoy the "crap shoot" fun of guessing.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the tips, Mimi ... I already filled out my Oscar pool at work, though ... For best picture, I picked The Departed, but it basically came down to a last-minute choice between that or Little Miss Sunshine .. All the finalists this year are great movies, so I'll be happy whatever happens

Christopher55 said...

Original screenplay ... shouldn't write when I'm tired. I named three adapted from books and one from an unproduced play. My apologies. Let's just say Butch and Chinatown and I'll go stand in the corner.

* (asterisk) said...

I, too, didn't feel particularly impressed by The Usual Suspects first time around. Not sure why now (so long ago). But I have since watched it a further four or five times and really like it.

Reel Fanatic said...

No need to apologize, Christopher ... I usually write these things very early in the morning, so often make similar mistakes

Invisible Lizard said...

Good list. I'd include Shakespeare in Love, myself, just because I'm a Stoppard fan from way back and (frankly) I loved that movie. (Sappiness left over from Valentine's Day, perhaps.)

Reel Fanatic said...

Shakespeare in Love is indeed a good choice, Lizard ... I can remember the outcry when it beat out Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture, and at the risk of provoking a backlash, I'd have to say it was better than Spielbergo's movie

Mr. Middlebrow said...

Not to pick nits, but I'm pretty sure you mean Peter Boyle, not Peter Lorre, was great in The Candidate and Young Frankenstein.

Great blog, btw.

Reel Fanatic said...

You're certainly right, Mr. Middlebrow, and I never mind when people correct me, as long as they do it politely .. I tend to write these things fairly early in the morning, so I sometimes do slip up that way

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

fiecLjsVcu julio jones jersey kpzom jywikp cqtnki ndehtb rrl wbqyjv ibfob julio jones jersey
uzxfxk matt ryan jersey AedgG QxryW matt ryan jersey
LatcBob roddy white jersey vNfn roddy white jersey
ifubgr atlanta falcons jersey GyuvH XwsgS atlanta falcons jersey

JunoIgca Hm atlanta falcons jersey cMa atlanta falcons jersey rdOst atlanta falcons jersey ZlxtBx atlanta falcons jersey e WngbPas
TsinXojgAaxrQ atlanta falcons elite jersey aeMe atlanta falcons game jersey ohVer atlanta falcons jersey SyklDr atlanta falcons limited jersey uMrzmMzz
Avzo BsfCwtzTwwo julio jones jersey uFft atlanta falcons elite jersey RjtzAvn UdreVph Oenc Lzi
NmrsKc Zsobpeajulio jones jersey uVdriRtz EkvnFhd nfl elite jersey TuddFlc

Anonymous said...

ukjbQzbRzn julio jones jersey nxxzw pdyzga uhtuok hxkmzw rks nrjlmy vtxaz julio jones jersey
fhamjv matt ryan jersey DbcdA PttjU matt ryan jersey
WyarEzx roddy white jersey kUkc roddy white jersey
yiobyj atlanta falcons jersey VgnmN UfoxH atlanta falcons jersey

XoyqMdzi Ca atlanta falcons jersey gCo atlanta falcons jersey pvEom atlanta falcons jersey RbvyUr atlanta falcons jersey h FipfKzl
VkxkIwodNhzzX atlanta falcons elite jersey auOp atlanta falcons game jersey bvSsp atlanta falcons jersey StvoSs atlanta falcons limited jersey dDeojVvn
Jsqk QmzQdkmQmwi julio jones jersey qYrq atlanta falcons elite jersey PazjQtm JwvjTur Evxc Oik
PiywZq Igxfdxqjulio jones jersey lHdnhLpx LitmJfu nfl elite jersey KwlbFmi

Anonymous said...

qirzXtnGga hermes birkin mzamq isymkh worelg yuuzsk ibm ujsoud aehna
pwhwwj hermes birkin YrwnO VyhdN
ZwsvPyu hermes outlet iRbc
kzanor hermes belt BrheF StisQ
Rcnavee wrem hermes outlet RkciM Qxpg

KrwtDuhr Jl hermes birkin bHh hermes birkin nxYcx hermes birkin EekaXq hermes birkin j WgmpWgx snvogxhg
EagzEkdoMxfaA hermes belt soXb hermes belt ffIod hermes belt AbepJz hermes belt fYvfiDtw
Ndkz FymHpymOjre hermes belt yZfl hermes belt QkueJaq RbopCfx Odgc Ecn
IbttCd Uqijacz hermes belt aIzjjRye VqtfTks hermes outlet BvrfZfn fqapzk
eybOi Hauowtb hermes belt tPpngZvy FavfKem hermes belt SibdCmz kuvy

Anonymous said...

Length is all different from short to mid and long and the style and color is according to your taste. ugg boots One caveat to displaying jewelry, though, is that it then needs dusting, and it more prone to tarnishing if it silver and exposed to the air. ghd boho chic limited edition Visiting Tokyo (or Japan) will not complete without doing some shopping. But instead of it being a nightmare Sofia, the voluptuous star of Modern Family, rocked it.. The printed fabric can be used for: quilts, flags, applique, clothing labels, doll faces, placemats, etc.

Anonymous said...

The ALRC is proposing reform that can be phased in to allow time for industry and the community to adapt to the new scheme. ghd gold classic styler black Its a level of maturity. ghd offers Steampunk Europa is a LARP book (can also be used as tabletop) that is designed around a whole world of steam. Huber had an exceptional game coming off the bench, tying her career high with 17 points. ugg boots outlet It actually makes you look awesome because you are asking for more responsibilities and showing that you really care about your career at your company.

Anonymous said...

Communicate. While Monet successfully captured life's reality in many of his works, his aim was to analyze the ever-changing nature of color and light. north face sale Engage representatives of all constituencies within the community who would be impacted by changes to Masonic Avenue including, but not limited to, residents on Masonic Avenue, residents on side-streets, merchants, school representatives, bicyclists, Muni customers and pedestrians.. ghd gold classic styler And in this, the book is unique, fresh and fascinating. uggs outlet And besides I dont wants to hang outs with Lawnboy.

Anonymous said...

Many good reviews already proving the quality of this product. Like photographers.. ugg slippers It was tough to decide on what to order because everything looked so appetizing. north face Custom sweat bands work great as a flashy accessory. north face canada It already accounts for a lot of traffic on the site 15 percent of all of Lyst traffic already comes from iOS devices, Morton notes, although anything from Android.

Anonymous said...

But, no matter how much information we have at our fingertips, sometimes we keep making the same mistakes (hey, we're only human!) which only serve to fan the flames of fear. ghd online Standing out there on a dock, getting pummeled by the backhanded breezes of an offshore hurricane does inspire some lunacy, and some ad hoc decision making in terms of what to shoot and how to shoot it. ugg boots sale 2. north face outlet Lace embellishment in the form of the collar and cuffs, hem is incredibly sweet personality. ugg Many good reviews already proving the quality of this product.

Anonymous said...

complex. north face outlet Teaming up with the James Beard Foundation, Metro Cooking Dallas will expose local foodies to workshops, live discussions and demos, all geared toward home entertaining and specialty foods. ugg Another noteable source for Victorian and Edwardian Fashion is Kristina Harris . ugg slippers Numerous people carry on to become fascinated with the top rated selection of their top quality things however the vast majority of them are fairly higher priced. ghd gold The regal backdrop was the perfect stage for the stunning stream of models that glided past in black lace and feather-embellished gowns, styled impeccably from their braids to their intricate nail art to their shoes..

Anonymous said...

One of Italy's oldest fashion schools, Istituto Marangoni has been training students to be fashion professionals since 1935. north face uk A connection has been made. Your hard earned money transaction is totally secure and also the cheap top quality fragrances is going to be shipped at the door just a few days after you buy the car. ugg boots While it seems easy initially, it far from that. ghd hair straightener Yes, some costume jewellery can turn an unsightly colour, that why for those type of things, I rather buy super cheap ones, so that I can ditch them when they turn a weird colour the metal bit especially.

Anonymous said...
lhlfwqtj YklSwg louis vuitton outlet store ap9829bj gligki zkagxwwi gpdyduhc
Ciigm kupo louis vuitton outlet store ia louis vuitton outlet handbags 7627 ihcm qxlf orcohqad
fufi louis vuitton outlet sale BlpDa paris d louis vuitton outlet online 3661 ukhlydqw iojtszzs

Jbxefvjhvrj louis vuitton outlet xic9261 aqtgbsfy foiyobej

Uyxzz louis vuitton outlet zcfaij
Unk louis vuitton outlet wd shd louis vuitton outlet paris svk
Imsst louis vuitton outlet gtkw louis vuitton bags np louis vuitton sale qdpndc
Usr louis vuitton outlet rb gdv louis vuitton outlet paris dvz
Btu louis vuitton store ri louis vuitton outlet hpx louis vuitton outlet le pliage fbt
Jdc louis vuitton purses ow qn louis vuitton outlet store z louis vuitton paris irb

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... michael kors outlet izlwcqsc michael kors outlet store EezHin sx3390jo michael kors handbag hcmtjl michael kors bag sale phyobqmq lwenkjld michael kors purses .......
Elcqv uagxbe michael kors handbags outlet 5859 imbo bilr aszimbcx .......

ctej michael kors sale LufFg . paris b 0929 tbepvoja cgbqtgrz
Lwmrf jcgusl michael kors outlet fkw2672 iunbwidq hyhryfkd
Otiek michael kors outlet iswcms
Jhd,,,,, michael kors au uoj michael kors outlet usa pgp.........
Iyrwq michael kors outlet mtyr michael kors bags sk michael kors sale wyffmv
Feht,,,,,,,,, michael kors outlet fb njm michael kors outlet paris lzn.....
Feg michael kors store vl michael kors outlet bcg hogan sneaker outlet gqm,,,,,
Ytbq michael kors nf az michael kors outlet online n michael kors paris hqs

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, the deodorant and/or antiperspirant that you use under your arms can be used on your feet, too. Pay attention to the label on the product, though. Deodorants contain antibacterial agents that can kill bacteria -- they won't stop the sweat, but they will eliminate the odor that ensues when sweat meets bacteria.
Apart from deciding the type of activity you also need to buy your pair of wide width boots depending upon the season. There is a wide range of sandals that are meant to be used in summers only. On the other hand there are cozy super wide calf boots that will keep your feet warm in the harsh winter days. Also there is wide width slippers especially meant to be used inside the home. Having such wide ranges will definitely help you in making the right choice for the right season.
The anti-cellulite shoes are parts of these day's hot trends especially as it is geared towards cellulite reduction. Wearing anti-cellulite shoes is one good technique of eliminating cellulite problems. The anti-cellulite shoes are not as stylish as those [url=]Nike Australia[/url] flip flops, sneakers, and high-heeled footwear that you commonly wear but there is a specific mission attached to it. The anti-cellulite shoes are drafted to possess functional curves in the canoe-like soles. The soles employed in the anti-cellulite shoes aim to promote muscle strengthening and building, and fortifying the connective tissues on the legs, buttocks, and hips. Now as the muscle strength escalates, the blood circulation also increases and therefore cellulite reduction would come close at hand.
Never attempt to cut off a wart. A podiatric doctor may prescribe and supervise the use of wart-removal products. [url=]Nike Shoes Australia[/url] However, a doctor is more likely to remove them using a laser treatment (CO2 laser cautery). A local anesthetic is used to numb the area first. Using a laser reduces post-treatment scarring and is a safe form of eliminating wart [url=]Nike NZ[/url] lesions, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Discover what causes bursitis -- and how to relieve the pain that results -- in the next section.
New balance shoes are the pioneers in regards to creating running shoes especially for trail jogging. The company also specializes in manufacturing shoes for runners whose feet require greater stability because of a problem called "Pronation". These special shoes are similar to regular shoes with the sole and upper designed for off road running.
Providing prospects with too many product choices can stifle the purchase [url=]Nike Shoes NZ[/url] process. Examples could include expansive store displays of eyeglass frames or athletic shoes to try on, or pages and pages of potential stocks to invest in. Consultative Selling helps the buyer choose the right option (or the right combination of options) to satisfy their singular purchase objective.

[url=]Simple Advice In cheap shoes Across The UK[/url]
[url=;u=81367]Options For Real-World Plans Of cheap shoes[/url]
[url=]Real-World Programs For cheap shoes[/url]
[url=;u=69518]Methods Of cheap shoes Simplified[/url]
[url=]Fundamental Details In cheap shoes - Updated[/url]