Saturday, January 23, 2016

PGA Preview + Awards-Nazi Award Nominations: Original Screenplay

Tonight all eyes will be on the Producers Guild of America, who have matched the Academy all six years of the expanded Best Picture era so far. Pundit logic suggests that Spotlight (my prediction) is the only movie that can survive the rigors of the preferential ballot, although I wouldn't put it past them to be sufficiently impressed by the gargantuan production that was The Revenant. Spotlight is a relatively small and very talkative movie after all; Not the type that usually wins Best Picture, but I'll try to remain optimistic.

While the producers' decision may ultimately end the perceived race for the Academy's highest honour, the race for my own awards is just getting started. Each weekend from now until the Oscars I'll be publishing my own list of personal preferences, starting with Best Original Screenplay.

BRIDGE OF SPIES (Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
Swimming in intrigue and humanistic grace notes, this sturdy script takes its time and beseeches the patience of its audience to keep attention through hours of talking heads before reaching its pay-off.

INSIDE OUT (Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley)
A few pacing bumps aside, this is a wonderfully crafted story, balancing its perfectly judged wit with genuine emotional insight and a valuable message about embracing all of life's feelings.

MISTRESS AMERICA (Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig)
Baumbach is king of the hipster humorists, and, collaborating again with muse and star Gerwig, has honed a sharp and incisive authorial voice for decrying the mirage of clinging to our bygone youth.

SON OF SAUL (László Nemes, Clara Royer)
The bravura direction tends to overshadow the intricacies of the screenplay, which cleverly opens up a larger, peripheral story that we piece together from Saul's point of view.

SPOTLIGHT (Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer)
McCarthy and Singer pack an awful lot of content into a swift, focused procedural. It's dense but never confusing, with dramatic beats slowly leaching their way through the verbosity.

Other strong considerations:
Tangerine (Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch)
A War (Tobias Lindholm)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland)
Ricki and the Flash (Diablo Cody)
Sicario (Taylor Sheridan)


  1. My picks for Best Original Screenplay

    -Bridge of Spies
    -Ex Machina
    -The Hateful Eight
    -Inside Out

  2. Best Original Screenplay:

    Bridge of Spies
    Ex Machina
    Inside Out
    Mistress America