Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Should and Will Win Best Adapted Screenplay? - 2008 Oscar Edition

And here is my analysis on Best Adapted Screenplay.

What Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire (written by Simon Beaufoy, from the novel "Q and A" by Vikas Swarup)
Beaufoy's delightful, well-written screenplay is very good. Although most of the action is visual, there are some very good lines that Beaufoy's spins here. The Academy will award this to "Millionaire", hands down. No questions asked.

Second Thoughts: Delightful? Well-written? Upon second viewing, I believe I went a little too far. I believe that "Slumdog's" script should rank even below Frost/Nixon on this list.

What Should Win: Doubt (written by John Patrick Shanley, from his own play)
I know I'm not the only one who finds Shanley's script utterly fascinating and brilliant. Although the actors are top-notch here, Shanley's script is magnificent. He supplies the likes of Streep, Seymour Hoffman, Adams, and Davis with enough great dialogue so that they can shine. No doubt it will be beaten.

The other nominees:
The Reader (written by David Hare, from the novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink)
Although the script isn't that great, Hare weaves some interesting images in. Take for example the scene intercut between the dinner and the lovemaking. That's brilliant.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (written by Eric Roth, from the short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Oh, how I didn't like the script by Roth. It draws way too many parallels to the far superior "Forrest Gump" and treads on too many cliches to get anywhere. Roth has written great movies before ("Munich," and "The Insider" were amazing), but here he gets the nod just in the gust of Button praise.

Frost/Nixon (written by Peter Morgan, from his own play)
Just as much, Morgan's script was bad. Filled with cheesy one liners for Frank Langella and dumb dialogue for everyone else, this is one of the least deserved nominations of the year. How did Morgan go from "The Queen" to this?

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