81 Days With Oscar And Me

Every Academy Award-Winning Movie, Back to Back, Starting With the First

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Entries Tagged as 'Plot Point I'

No Country For Old Men

November 7th, 2009 · No Comments · 2007, Adaptation, Coen Brothers, Color, Drama, F-Word, Javier Bardem, Mid-Point, Miramax, No Country For Old Men, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Screenplay Structure

Another violent, dark movie.
The difference between No Country For Old Men and The Departed, the previous Best-Picture Oscar winner (which was also a violent, dark movie) is that this one is more like a scalpel than a bludgeon. No Country adds wit, humor, and a certain odd charm to the violence and darkness.
Most importantly, [...]

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Million Dollar Baby

November 4th, 2009 · No Comments · 2004, Adaptation, Clint Eastwood, Color, Drama, Mid-Point, Million Dollar Baby, Morgan Freeman, Paul Haggis, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Screenplay Structure, Warner Bros. Pictures

I think I’ve seen this movie before – when it was called Gran Torino. Or was it Rocky? Or maybe it was The Wrestler. Or Who’s Life Is It Anyway? I don’t know. There’s a little of each of those movies in Million Dollar Baby.
There’s something very familiar about this movie. Maybe I think [...]

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A Beautiful Mind

November 1st, 2009 · No Comments · 2001, A Beautiful Mind, Adaptation, Color, Composer: James Horner, Drama, Dreamworks Pictures, Ed Harris, James Horner, John Nash, Mid-Point, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Ron Howard, Russell Crowe, Screenplay Structure

Now this is a movie that showcases both great acting and fantastic direction – and does so in such a way that neither calls attention to itself.
The end result is a movie that doesn’t look or feel like a movie. A Beautiful Mind is a an incredibly moving experience.
For me, a lot of that [...]

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American Beauty

October 30th, 2009 · No Comments · 1999, Allison Janney, American Beauty, Color, Drama, Dreamworks Pictures, Drug Use, Homosexuality, Kevin Spacey, Mid-Point, Original Screenplay, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Screenplay Structure, Sex, Swearing

I love movies that start at the end.
Like Sunset Boulevard, and Memento (sort of – who can tell where that one starts?), and Gandhi, and The English Patient, and Citizen Kane, and, well, you get the idea.
When a movie starts at the end, the audience knows more than the characters in the movie do. [...]

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Shakespeare in Love

October 29th, 2009 · No Comments · 1998, Ben Affleck, Christopher Marlowe, Colin Firth, Comedy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Mid-Point, Miramax, Nudity, Original Screenplay, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Romeo and Juliet, Screenplay Structure, Sex, Shakespeare in Love, Stuttering, Swearing, Tom Wilkinson

“Can a play show us the very truth and nature of love?” is a question posed by Queen Elizabeth to Viola De Lesseps.
I have a question of my own to pose: “Can a movie show us what perfect screenwriting looks like?”
Yes, it can – if that movie is Shakespeare in Love.
Shakespeare in Love is brilliant.
Brilliant.
Brilliant.
Once [...]

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Unforgiven

October 23rd, 2009 · No Comments · 1992, C-Word, Clint Eastwood, Color, F-Word, Gene Hackman, Mid-Point, Morgan Freeman, Original Screenplay, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Screenplay Structure, Sex, Unforgiven, Warner Bros. Pictures, Western

With a cast that includes three of my favorite actors (Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Gene Hackman), there’s no way this movie could fail.
And it doesn’t. (WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Don’t read on unless you want to know how the movie ends.)
But how could it? All those actors, direction by Clint Eastwood, and it’s a [...]

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Silence Of the Lambs, The

October 22nd, 2009 · No Comments · 1991, Adaptation, Anthony Hopkins, C-Word, Color, Composer: Howard Shore, F-Word, Hannibal Lecter, Jodie Foster, Mid-Point, Orion Pictures Corporation, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Screenplay Structure, Silence of the Lambs, Thriller

“Good evening, Clarice.”
The Silence Of the Lambs creeps me out. It did when I first saw it nearly 20 years ago.
And it still does.
There’s a grotesqueness to this movie that emits a kind of psychic stench that clings to me, like the cloying smell of maple-flavored bacon that lingers in the kitchen many hours after [...]

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Rain Man

October 19th, 2009 · No Comments · 1988, Color, Drama, Dustin Hoffman, F-Word, Mid-Point, Original Screenplay, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Rain Man, Screenplay Structure, Sex, Swearing, Tom Cruise, United Artists

I almost didn’t get to post my blog this evening. My MacBook Pro died and the Apple geniuses had no openings for me until tomorrow morning. Good thing my wife is using my old iBook G4.
Rain Man has always been one of my favorite movies. Talking like Raymond Babbitt is something my wife and [...]

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Kramer vs. Kramer

October 11th, 2009 · No Comments · 1979, Adaptation, Color, Columbia Pictures, Drama, Dustin Hoffman, Kramer vs Kramer, Meryl Streep, Mid-Point, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Screenplay Structure

Kramer vs. Kramer, the three-hanky movie that pits the sizable talents of Meryl Streep against those of Dustin Hoffman (on opposite sides of a custody battle for the divorcing couple’s son), is a well-constructed film that still holds up some 30 years after it was released.
In fact, some scenes – like the “French-toast scene” [...]

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Rocky

October 7th, 2009 · No Comments · 1976, Burgess Meredith, Color, Drama, Inciting Incident, Mid-Point, Original Screenplay, Plot Point I, Plot Point II, Rocky, Screenplay Structure, Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, United Artists

Yo, Adrian! I’m going to make a bold statement, here: I like Rocky.
I realize some folks think Rocky is pure fluff, hardly Best-Picture material.
But I think the people who don’t like Rocky are misanthropes who are afraid to experience humanity’s joys and sorrows. Rocky is a sweet movie about a down-but-not-out boxer named Rocky [...]

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