I am going with Birdman. It's so crazy and blows my mind.
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Hi John, id have to say Whiplash. It was beautifully written and the writer finds a way to raise the stakes in almost every scene. Definitely one of my favorites that are nominated.
My own! :-)
Imitation Game, I've only read the script, eventually I'll catch the film :-)
I would definitely have to go for American Sniper.
You'll enjoy "The Imitation Game," Anthony. The story is told with frequent flashbacks -- a lesson to all writers who are doing a bio-pic on a man like Turing, whose life ended sadly. The writer knew how to end on an upbeat moment, however. Good craftsmanship.
Lisa, my friend, from your mouth to Hollywood's ears!!!
Whiplash - I'm a drummer so I appreciate it.
Question for all: which one will win Best Picture?????
"Nightcrawler" should have won.
"A camel is a horse designed by a committee."
"Whiplash:, amazing film -- just watched it last evening and was totally impressed.
Ida suits me best.
What about Citizen Four.
That's a documentary. How much of it was scripted?
Curfew, The Phone Call, Lunch Date...(you can tell, I like shorts)
Shakespeare in love. I'd love to write a romcom.
FRENCH CONNECTION (won five Oscars, nominated for a bunch more).
A Man for All Seasons. Norma Rae. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Theory of Everything. I love movies of substance that make a difference and that we remember for years afterward.
The King's Speech
Virginia: I love "A Man For All Seasons". Robert Bolt is on my top list of screenwriters. He was also a David Lean favorite, having penned "Dr Zhivago", "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Ryan's Daughter". Not only is his dialogue second to none, his narrative is extraordinary. Two best pictures Oscars for his scripts in less than five years is quite an accomplishment. My choice is Godfather II.
Hey Phillip, lovely to hear you like Robert Bolt's work too. And David Lean, stupendous. Their work is timeless.
I’m inspired by excellent quality writing and I do study Oscar nominated scripts but it’s my intention to write my own Oscar nominated/winning script before I pass on. This is a pretty lofty goal indeed; and I hear a lot of people tell me that I’ll never be able to do that – to which I reply “maybe not, but please step aside while I give it a try.” In summation, go write your own.
Doug: Nothing wrong having a lofty goal.
I don't think anyone who wrote an Oscar winning screenplay was thinking 'I must write an Oscar winning screenplay'. I think looking at it from another angle might help better.
There is no “must do” here - there is a goal; a target at which to aim. I shoot for it not because I must; I shoot for it because I want to. It’s okay if I miss, but not trying is a non option for me. When analyzing an Oscar winning script, you soon discover that it’s a very compelling story with strong character arcs to which we are simpatico to some extent. And after all, isn’t that the story you’re trying to write? (Oh, and it must be in a bullet proof format.)
Virginia and Phillip, only thinking about Man For All Seasons the other day, fantastic writing, surprised and pleased it was mentioned here - Robert Bolt is a wonderful writer - RB mentioned Chinatown, superb, one of the first screenplays I read, a marvel to read, I appreciated the film more after I read the script - of the current nominations, The Imitation Game and Whiplash were excellent examples of good writing.
I agree, Chanel. Chinatown is one of those where you can sit with the script and the remote and just go scene by scene. A master class of getting in late, getting out early, character arcs and taut plotting.
And Chinatown gets my vote for longest usage of unpleasant looking nose bandage.
That's funny, Phil. Not a single page in that screenplay reads "pleasant".
Richard: Like William Goldman, John Milius and Robert Bolt, Robert Towne is such an awesome, prolific Talent. And 1974 was really a landmark year in American Cinema. Chinatown was such a magnificent redux of the 30's/40's gumshoe stories a la Chandler and Hammett. By then, filmmakers were really pushing the accepted boundaries. Though I have it on DVD, I haven't watched it in years. I'm going to pop that bad boy on real soon.
Couldn't agree more, Phillip. Perfectly executed on every level. As for Towne, it's a little known fact that he wrote the "Transition of Power" scene in the GODFATHER as well. A terrific talent.
The Shawshank Redemption. Still the best script I've ever read.
I thought Birdman was good, Whiplash very good, but both Chinatown and Man For All Seasons "compelling" - I found Shawshank very good, but not compelling.
I'm reading Birman script right now. I'm a bit bored and starting to flick through. I'm sure it's better on film. I do own a cope of Shawshank. I really should get it out and read it properly.
I started reading Birdman script and first ten pages didn't grab me.
Glad i'm not alone. You know what other award winning script hasn't grabbed me and neither the film? Her. Her. How the hell did that win an award?
Slightly off topic, but I did a little research re Robert Johnson, you know, the bloke who sold his soul to the devil - You Tube had the guitar duel from Crossroads, outstanding cinema - I also watched the piano duel from The Legend of 1900, wonderful stuff - not screenwriting, but wonderful cinema at work, and scenes that endure.
Anyone? Any year? GOODFELLAS
Goodfellas - yes! Defied those ridiculous "rules" about voice overs and was a tremendous commercial and artistic success!
While it didn't win or get nominated by the Academy, my favorite is The Third Man.
Lawrence: Great pic and I'm also a big fan of "Touch of Evil".
I heartily endorse these last 3 choices. All tremendous scripts. Well worth reading and studying.
Birdman for me
I'm surprised, Daniel, considering all the options available that you would choose Birdman - it was okay, but I didn't find it compelling and there are far superior scripts out there, but I understand it's a matter of opinion.
Sixth Sense... without a doubt.
It smells like balls in here
"far superior script out there" yeah half of them forgot to sing or forgot their lines
I would have loved to write Birdman. So my type of weird and crazy ideas! I also love the Grand Budapest Hotel, simple script, gives place to imagination and creativity!! Love it!
So many to choose from, I'm going to limit myself to this years and pick Grand Budapest - loved it.
Vanessa and Anthony: I'm with you on Grand Budapest; wonderfully whimsical film. One of Wes Anderson's best.
I just saw Grand Budapest two weeks ago. Wasn't sure if it had won anything. I sure would have loved to have written that one. I loved the characters and the story within a story within a story.....