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 'Original Screenplay'

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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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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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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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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Braveheart

October 26th, 2009 · No Comments · 1995, Braveheart, Color, Composer: James Horner, Drama, F-Word, Freedom, James Horner, Mel Gibson, Original Screenplay, Paramount Pictures, Scotland, William Wallace

“The problem with Scotland is that it is full of Scots,” says Longshanks, King Edward I at the start of Braveheart.
And so the king sets out to break the spirit of the savages in Scotland by taxing them, beating them, and raping their women.
At first William Wallace (Mel Gibson) wants no part of standing [...]

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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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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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Platoon

October 17th, 2009 · No Comments · 1986, Color, Drama, F-Word, Left-Leaning Politics, Oliver Stone, Original Screenplay, Orion Pictures Corporation, Platoon, War

Oliver Stone is to directing movies what a croquet mallet is to carving a turkey.
Platoon is yet another movie – the most heavy-handed to date – that proves war is hell.
War is hell.
I get it, Hollywood. I get it. In fact, I’ve been getting it since All Quiet on the Western Front back in [...]

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Gandhi

October 13th, 2009 · No Comments · 1982, Ben Kingsley, Bhagavad Gita, Biopic, Color, Columbia Pictures, Drama, Gandhi, John Gielgud, Non-Violent Civil Disobedience, Original Screenplay, Sir Richard Attenborough

No doubt about it, the life of Mahatma Gandhi is inspiring. The death of Mahatma Gandhi (at the hands of an assassin) is a profoundly ironic tragedy, which makes Gandhi a powerful, deeply moving film.
I remember when Gandhi was released in 1982. I saw it with a group of friends. One of them, [...]

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