Friday, February 5, 2010

And the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay goes to...

First of all, thanks so much to everyone who made it to the quiz on Wednesday. We raised over 1,100 euros, which was amazing for a pub quiz. So Prodigal Son has at least some of its budget together already!

I’ve also posted my first blog post on the Jameson Dublin Film Festival website, which is here http://www.jdiff.com/index.php/news/blog/

Most Oscar articles seem to focus on the nominations for Best Picture, Best Director or the acting noms, but I’m going to focus on the most important categories of all (to me, of course), which are Best screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay.

I’m going to make a terrible confession – I haven’t seen all of these movies. I have, however, read all the scripts. So based on that: I think The Hurt Locker should win. Mark Boal does a fantastic job of conveying the bizarre and terrible world of a bomb disposal team, taking in all the tension and paranoia that goes with it. His (anti) hero William James is the sort of part any actor would kill to play (always the mark of great script). He is a guy who doesn’t care if he lives or dies – but does this make him the ultimate bomb disposer or a dangerous loose cannon? Check out the bit on page 17 where we meet James for the first time.

An awkward silence ensues allowing us to get a better look at James. Though a former Army Ranger in his mid-thirties, fit and good-looking, one of the lucky ones, he possesses an unusual demeanor. In a world of outgoing young men, James seems markedly self-absorbed. Sanborn notices this trait instantly and is puzzled by it. The truth is that after so many years down range, racking up kills and disarming bombs, James has lost some of the ability and most of the need to connect to other people.

Right now, however, James is doing his best to act like a regular nice guy.

A piece of description that gets right under this character’s skin. This is the stuff Oscar-winning scripts are made of – and I hope it’s Mark Boal up on the podium with the little gold man on Oscar night.

To read some of the nominated scripts – and quite a few others that got pipped at the post, see:

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/new-oscar-scripts-basterds-nine-the-road-and-a-single-man

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