OW Oscarama — I’m Drunk Right Now: Best Original Screenplay
We were sort of blessed as moviegoers in 2012. It was a strong year, the first really strong year since the lockout, and that’s evident in the Original Screenplay nominees. I have an intense love/hate relationship with the two screenwriting categories at the Oscars, especially original screenplay. Sometimes it rewards bravery in style and form. And sometimes it rewards utter mediocrity. Like Crash. Mostly I mean Crash. And Juno.
It’s wide open here though. Flight is the only nomination that sticks out as being particularly undeserving to me. It succeeds on the strength of Denzel Washington’s performance, and that success is almost in spite of an overlong, overwrought script that loses its way majorly in the second act. Between the film’s opening drug orgy and plane crash and the hearing near the end, there is little that is memorable about the film aside from Denzel being Denzel. Amour similarly succeeds on the strength of Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant’s strong performances, but the story has a delicate touch to it as well. Their momentary lapses and frustrations with each other are surprising, which causes shock to see them unfold. Flight means to shock, which is expected and ends up being less interesting. It’s a strict Syd Field type of screenplay, while Haneke’s is anything but.
My heart is really with Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson should have won in 2001 for The Royal Tenenbaums, but inexplicably the award went to Gosford Park. When was the last time you watched Gosford Park? Is Gosford Park still a vital, lively film 11 years later? Oh, Academy, you kidders. I really do loath the whole idea of “we’ll get you next time, even if you don’t deserve it” (Russell Crowe winning for Gladiator when he should have won for The Insider, for instance), but I don’t mind the exception for Anderson since Moonrise Kingdom is legitimately a great film, one that will be remembered long after we forget about the likes of Flight.
Michael Haneke — “Amour”
Quentin Tarantino — “Django Unchained”
John Gatins — “Flight”
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola — “Moonrise Kingdom”
Mark Boal — “Zero Dark Thirty”
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom. There is little chance of the script actually winning an Oscar (I think it probably goes to Amour), but for me it was the freshest, most original script of the bunch, neatly structured, funny and, most importantly, made an all around great film.