22 February 2008

Best Adapted Screenplay

The nominees are as follows: Christopher Hampton (Atonement), Sarah Polley (Away from Her), Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), and Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood). [side note: I realize Pedro won for Best Original Screenplay, but I couldn't resist posting it here. Regardless, I think that's also a photo from when he won for All About My Mother, not Talk to Her... whatever]

Who Should Win: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

It's not usually the case that some of the finer screenplays in a year come from previously written material, but such is this year. Four of the five nominees are all solid works and could conceivably win the award without much fuss from me, but the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men screenplay perfectly captured the tone of the novel for me (though again, I know Eric will have some complaints here).

The WTF? Nominee: Christopher Hampton (Atonement)

The failure of Atonement cannot be solely attributed to Hampton's screenplay, but more to Joe Wright's direction, which was thankfully overlooked for a nomination. I'm noticing that a lot of my picks this year are based on the person nominated significance to the film as a whole (which is why I'm already convinced Ruby Dee's less-than-five-minute performance in American Gangster will be the WTF? of that category). Atonement is the only of films nominated which screams, "I'm sure the book was better," while all the other films beautifully add to their source material, creating something altogether different (but not entirely). Atonement lacked punch.

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