Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

For the films of 2014
nightwingnova
Temp
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:48 pm

Re: Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby nightwingnova » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:28 pm

I looked at the past 10 winners and compared them to this year's nominees.

The winners generally had decent to good box office and made an artistic or cultural imprint on the American consciousness.

From that, Inherent Vice and Whiplash should fall off the map. The Theory of Everything will be memorable for Eddie Redmayne's performance but not for the movie; it's box office is just above half of the lowest performer on the list (Precious).

That leaves American Sniper and The Imitation Game. Sniper is being celebrated for being a mid-range budget movie that is good and that folks want to see (blockbuster). Imitation Game though comes closest in comparison to the list below - (on the low end, but the closest) respected middle-brow or better film, prestige for carrying a "socially-conscious message".

I think Imitation compares the best and falls best into the category that Oscar likes to recognize - "important movie."

Sideways
Brokeback Mountain
The Departed
No Country for Old Men
Slumdog Millionaire
Precious
The Social Network
The Descendants
Argo
12 Years a Slave

FilmFan720 wrote:What makes this category so difficult is the complete lack of any sort of precursor knowledge. The Imitation Game has picked up two precursors, the WGA and the USC. However, in the WGA it only competed against one other Oscar nominee (the other 3 nominees missed out on the Oscars), and without The Theory of Everything or Whiplash. It did beat The Theory of Everything at the USC, but then lost the BAFTA to it. This all adds up to about nothing.

The wild card here is Whiplash, which has won no precursor but can't be discarded. That is because everywhere else it had to contend with this year's holy triumverate. In this category, though, it has to be seen as the most liked film and that can go a long way.

FilmFan720
Tenured
Posts: 3449
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby FilmFan720 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:02 pm

What makes this category so difficult is the complete lack of any sort of precursor knowledge. The Imitation Game has picked up two precursors, the WGA and the USC. However, in the WGA it only competed against one other Oscar nominee (the other 3 nominees missed out on the Oscars), and without The Theory of Everything or Whiplash. It did beat The Theory of Everything at the USC, but then lost the BAFTA to it. This all adds up to about nothing.

The wild card here is Whiplash, which has won no precursor but can't be discarded. That is because everywhere else it had to contend with this year's holy triumverate. In this category, though, it has to be seen as the most liked film and that can go a long way.
"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good."
- Minor Myers, Jr.

Kellens101
Temp
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:47 am

Re: Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby Kellens101 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:36 pm

The Original BJ, I look forward to that so much because your write ups are so amazing and great and you write so well. I usually find myself picking the same movies and awards that you do in the posts.

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 2969
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby dws1982 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:31 pm

Inherent Vice is way too unpopular to contend here. It'll be number five by quite a bit, I suspect. I think any of the other four has a shot, although I'd probably rank Sniper fourth in likelihood. The controversy is much more likely to hurt it here than in any of the technical categories, plus war movies (unfairly) aren't seen as writerly efforts. The Theory of Everything is probably a little too straightforward to win, and there's been some talk about how it makes a big deal about Hawking's genius but never really gets around to portraying it in a way that the audience can appreciate it. My issue is more with the way that, even though it's supposed to be about Stephen and Jane Hawking, and even though it gives them both plenty of screentime, the screenplay is never all that interested in Jane and never gives her much of a window into the events. The Imitation Game is Harvey's last-ditch attempt to get a win this year. It may play around with a non-linear narrative, but it's really every bit as straightforward as The Theory of Everything. And plus, the movie has underperformed everywhere this year. (Except at the box-office) Whiplash seems more popular, although it hasn't made any money to speak of. The whole "it's not really adapted" discussion hasn't amounted to anything, at least in terms of hurting its chances, and under the idea that a screenplay is dialogue (it's not, obviously, but dialogue is the thing that people notice the most), Whiplash has more memorable dialogue than the rest of the nominees. I think the movie is more or less a celebration of Stockholm syndrome, but I may be alone on that one. Whiplash takes it.
Last edited by dws1982 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:24 pm

Kellens101 wrote:The Original BJ, would you give the award to Whiplash out of this lot even if you thought the script was the weakest element?


Actually, I think EVERY script nominated here is the weakest element of the movie, and all five nominees in the Original slate are easily superior to this crop.

You'll just have to wait until the Adapted Screenplay 2014 poll pops up to find out which one of these efforts gets my deeply reluctant vote. :D

Kellens101
Temp
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:47 am

Re: Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby Kellens101 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:09 pm

The Original BJ, would you give the award to Whiplash out of this lot even if you thought the script was the weakest element?

nightwingnova
Temp
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:48 pm

Re: Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby nightwingnova » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:06 pm

Generally, I find that this award has gone to the most popular, respectable film, especially if it carries prestige, more so along with an exalted, idealistic message.

This year, I think that's The Imitation Game. American Sniper is the blockbuster and is considered a solid good work. But Game is the one with prestige and message, plus very good box office - which none of the others have.

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Categories One-by-One: Adapted Screenplay

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:10 pm

A bit odd none of us have tackled the screenplay categories yet, especially given that they're both highly competitive. I'd definitely be interested in hearing people's takes on both as we get down to the wire.

In this field, I imagine Inherent Vice is a no-hoper. Despite the fact that Paul Thomas Anderson is clearly the most due for an Oscar out of any of these writers, I see no way such an esoteric effort could ever win a major Oscar.

I'm not willing to count out The Theory of Everything -- it did win the BAFTA, and Redmayne's strength in the Best Actor category suggests voters are responding to the movie with far more enthusiasm than I did. But I still think it lacks the kind of narrative/dialogue flourishes that typically lead a script to win here.

For a moment, it looked like American Sniper's huge box office suggested voters might want to give it a major award, and this one seemed like the most likely. That could still happen; given that a Best Picture upset seems extremely unlikely, I could see this category as one where fans of the film rallied behind it to reward the kind of movie many in the Academy wish there were more of -- a drama for adults that became a phenomenal hit. But I also wonder if the left-wing attacks on the movie might leave some uncomfortable choosing it, much as Zero Dark Thirty suffered in this category in its year.

I'm waffling between predicting the remaining two movies, and I can't say I'm leaning in any one direction yet. The Imitation Game has all the marks of a frontrunner in this category -- it has a ton of nominations, it's been a surprisingly decent box office hit, this is likely the best place to honor a movie that has always seemed in the thick of the Best Picture conversation, it juggles three different narrative time frames, and it's got that catchphrase that drives a lot of us here crazy. I'm struggling, though, in trying to figure out how much people actually like it. It's never had any trouble getting major nominations all season long, it has the key Directing/Editing Oscar nominations (in fairly competitive fields), and it won the WGA. But...why is Cumberbatch such a Best Actor also-ran? How come it got torpedoed at the BAFTAs, with its home field advantage? And has the obnoxious "honor the man/honor the film" campaign really rubbed people the wrong way? I'm just not sure if it's a film voters feel the need to give a consolation prize to somewhere (i.e. here) or if it has just fallen short of generating the necessary enthusiasm in general.

Then there's Whiplash, the little movie that could, which hasn't necessarily stormed through the season either, aside from sweeping the Supporting Actor prizes. (I resisted predicting the Director nomination many thought would happen, and was happy to be proven right about that). But I have gotten the sense all season long that the people who like the movie just ADORE it, and I wonder if Theory of Everything may very well cut into the great British man bio votes of Imitation Game enough to allow Whiplash to squeak through with a win here. And even though I personally think the script is the weakest element of the movie, it has a lot of aspects (J.K. Simmons's tyrannical dialogue, the plot turn at the end that really leaves people jazzed -- no pun intended) that could very easily lead to recognition for its writing.

I think it's going to be really close -- we'll see within a few hours where I decide to land with my prediction.


Return to “87th Nominations and Winners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests