Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope | Philomena
So we’re back to our Oscar posts! Now only 11 days left until the Academy Awards come on, which is exciting! Today we return with the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Adapted screenplay is an interesting category, because it seems pretty technical. While I haven’t looked too much into the requirements for the category, something like Before Midnight, that might be considered by many an original screenplay, is technically “adapted” because the film is based on characters that Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan created in the original Before Sunrise, that are being used for this film that was written by Linklater, Julie Delphy, and Ethan Hawke. Strange, I know, but now that you readers hopefully have a better sense, let’s get into the nominees.
Captain Phillips, while being one of my least favorite movies of the year, definitely seem adapted well from the book it’s based from. While accurate, my biggest problem with this movie is that the story is completely from the real life Phillips’ point of view. The controversy surrounding the movie is that Phillips was actually a horrible captain who ignored tons of protocols when the pirates were approaching the ship and pretty much knowingly put his crew in danger. This makes me really angry, because I feel like the story is somewhat untrue and makes Phillips out to be a hero that has gone through this horrible life changing situation. Captain Phillips was a well put together film, but not my choice.
The Wolf of Wall Street is really tempting for me to choose, because apparently almost everything in the film really happened, and I’ve even found interviews in past years with Belfort retelling his stories. The Quaaludes country club scene really happened, except Belfort says he was driving a Porsche instead of a Lambo (such a horrible change…). The boat scene with the helicopter blowing up actually happened as well; it’s insane to think that a movie so ridiculous was adapted from real life. I think that Terence Winter definitely adapted this story really well, but I still think that he included a lot of unnecessary events dealing with the drug use and sex which stretched the film from being a great 2 hour movie into a good 3 hour one.
Before Midnight, sadly, I have to admit I haven’t gotten to watch this just yet. Ryan, Chris, and I are all huge fans of the trilogy, so it definitely is killing me to hear that this is arguably the best one in the group and is really well written, but I just haven’t had the time yet. I’m sure that Linklater, Delphy, and Hawke did an amazing job after portraying these characters throughout difference stages of their lives.
12 Years A Slave was also solid, and is probably my realistic runner-up choice. It was really well written and I think will take home the award come Oscars night, but for me felt flat at some points. There are tons of very intense and gripping moments throughout the film that cover key moments in Solomon’s journey really well.
My choice, even surprising to myself when reviewing the nominees, is Philomena. I thought that Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope put together a really amazing story here that kept me interested throughout the duration of the film when I expected to be bored. It was realistic, and driven on the unique relationship between Philomena and Martin, while also providing plenty of flashbacks and picking up in the film’s final act that felt very thrilling. It’s awesome to see Coogan nominated in this category, and I was very happy with the amount of story and information Philomena provided, which is why it was my favorite adapted screenplay.
Which was your favorite Adapted Screenplay? Who do you think will actually take home the award on March 2nd? Let me know!