81 Days With Oscar And Me

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

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Entries from November 9th, 2009

Results, The

November 9th, 2009 · No Comments · 30 Days With Aristotle And me, Poetics, Results

As promised, I compiled a list of statistics and personal observations and posted them on a page I created and somewhat unimaginatively titled The Results.
Here’s another stat. It won’t appear on The Results page. But I find it interesting nonetheless:
My web site was visited by 341 people from 26 countries. They spent an average of [...]

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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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The Lord Of the Rings: The Return of the King

November 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments · 2003, Adaptation, Bernard Hill, Color, Composer: Howard Shore, Fantasy, JRR Tolkien, LOTR: The Return of the King, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen

Where do I even begin to comment on The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King?
I feel like falling to my knees and shrieking “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King surpasses even Gone With the Wind for sheer scope. Director Peter Jackon’s noggin [...]

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Chicago

November 2nd, 2009 · No Comments · 2002, Adaptation, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago, Color, Miramax, Musical, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere

Did I say that I hate musicals? Silly me. I meant to say I hate most musicals.
Chicago is a musical, sure. But it’s so damn fun that I forget that people are singing their way through the story.
Plus, it’s about hoofers, dancers, people who shake their booties and tap their toes. Chicago harkens back [...]

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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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