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 'Drama'

Slumdog Millionaire

November 8th, 2009 · No Comments · 2008, Adaptation, Color, Danny Boyle, Dev Patel, Drama, Freida Pinto, India, Pathe Pictures International, Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire, Widescreen

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
Perfectly constructed. Perfectly acted. Perfectly directed.
This is the kind of movie that inspires me to be a screenwriter.
It’s also the kind of movie that leads me to believe I never will be.
How could I write something this extraordinary?
Even the end credits – a dance number by the cast to the song “Jai [...]

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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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Departed, The

November 6th, 2009 · No Comments · 2006, Adaptation, C-Word, Color, Composer: Howard Shore, Departed, Drama, F-Word, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, N-Word, Nudity, Sex, Warner Bros. Pictures

Few movies are as violent, foul-mouthed, and bloody as The Departed.
I can’t help but wonder what audiences in, say, 1939 would have thought of The Departed had this film been inserted into the projector instead of Gone With the Wind. I dare say every last one of them would have run, screaming, out of [...]

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Crash

November 5th, 2009 · 1 Comment · 2005, Color, Crash, Drama, F-Word, Lions Gate Films, N-Word, Nudity, Original Screenplay, Paul Haggis, Racism, Sex

I honestly thought Paul Haggis was a better writer than this. After all, it was his script – a first draft no less! – that became Million Dollar Baby, the Oscar-winner a year before the release of Crash.
According his entry on Wiki, “Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first [...]

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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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Gladiator

October 31st, 2009 · No Comments · 2000, CGI, Color, Composer: Hans Zimmer, Derek Jacobi, Drama, Dreamworks Pictures, Gladiator, Oliver Reed, Original Screenplay, Richard Harris, Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe

Gladiator is over two and a half hours long. But I can sum up the moral of the story in 20 words: Next time an emperor tells you he wants you to be the ruler after he dies, get it in writing.
I don’t like how Gladiator was directed. The jerky, hand-held camera work during [...]

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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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Titanic

October 28th, 2009 · No Comments · 1997, Bernard Hill, Celine Dion, Color, Composer: James Horner, Drama, James Cameron, James Horner, Kate Winslet, Nudity, Original Screenplay, Sex, THX, Tearjerker, Titanic, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Most of the movies in the 1990s have something in common: they’re tearjerkers.
Epic tearjerkers at that.
Dances With Wolves is emotional. Schindler’s List is emotional. Forrest Gump is emotional. Braveheart is emotional. The English Patient is boring, but emotional.
And then there’s Titanic…
Ah, Titanic. It jerks enough tears to fill the Atlantic Ocean, where the real [...]

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English Patient, The

October 27th, 2009 · No Comments · 1996, Adaptation, Color, Drama, English Patient, Kristin Scott Thomas, Michael Ondaatje, Miramax, Naveen Andrews, Nudity, Ralph Fiennes, Sex, War, Willem Dafoe

Once again, I must turn to Seinfeld to help set the tone for my blog entry. This time, it’s Season 8, Episode 17: “The English Patient.”
Mr. Peterman and Elaine are in a theater watching the movie The English Patient. Peterman stares, enraptured, at the screen. Elaine is totally frantic with boredom.
PETERMAN: Elaine, I hope [...]

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