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Longlists to Nominees: Adapted Screenplay

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So let’s knock this motherfucker out of the park, shall we?

  • August: Osage County
  • Captain Phillips
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Frozen
  • Philomena
  • Short Term 12
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Warm Bodies
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

This is easy. August: Osage County is off–Letts transcribed the play pretty directly, and if he changed anything, it was trimming down the secondary characters to focus on Violet and Barbara. No nomination there.

Frozen is off. Very nice film, but the script isn’t so great that I really need it to get on here. The villain-reveal near the end is pretty clunky, too. Off it goes.

And Warm Bodies is fun, but not on the I-need-to-nominate-it level.

Captain Phillips, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street all belong here. No question about it. That leaves From Up on Poppy Hill and Short Term 12 duking it out for the final slot.

From Up on Poppy Hill is a really sweet film, and has some great lines. Short Term 12 is full of great acting, and has some brilliantly written scenes, but also has a few scenes that feel like, basically, “indie film” scenes. So I’m not sure what to do here.

One’s the nice film that got totally overlooked, and one is the very good film that got some appreciation, but mostly from smaller groups. It’s basically a dead heat for me.

Honestly, part of me thinks I left From Up on Poppy Hill here because it was easily the best adapted script I’d see at that point in the year, and I just assumed it would stay for good. And it’s certainly a good script. But, its flaws aside, when Short Term 12‘s script works, it really works. It plumbs deeper depths of emotion and, if it is ultimately surpassed by the acting, it was still the inspiration for some brilliant work, and that’s an achievement in of itself. So I’m going with it.

It’s worth noting that the Academy also nominated Captain Phillips, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street, with the fifth nominee being Before Midnight, which I still haven’t seen. Granted, the choices for this category were fairly limited, but for me to match the Academy 4/5, especially in a category like this, is pretty amazing.

The nominees:

  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • Short Term 12
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

(Got both of the “12” films on there. Go me.)



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