Monday, September 07, 2015

The 2014 RyMickey Awards - Best Screenplay

For some reason, I wasn't blown away by a ton of scripts this year.  The Original Screenplay awards actually only have three contenders so to say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement.  The Adapted Screenplay group is really solid, however.  Still, the top spots in both categories are worthy winners who didn't get the respect from the Oscars that they deserved.

Note:  I follow the Academy's guidelines in terms of what's adapted and what's original.  While I think original stories based on pre-existing characters (ex. Whiplash adapted from a short film made to garner funds for the motion picture itself) should be original screenplays, they are adapted for the purposes of this award.

(SoN = Streaming on Netflix / SoA = Streaming on Amazon)

Best Original Screenplay of 2014

#3 - Justin Simien - Dear White People
Clever and a bit biting in terms of modern racial tensions, Simien's debut film shows promise for future endeavors. (SoN)

#2 - Justin Lader - The One I Love
The debut film of Lader, The One I Love is essentially a two-person relationship dramedy, but it's unlike anything I've seen before...and in this day and age when everything seems cookie cutter, it's a refreshing change of pace. (SoN)

#1 - E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman - Foxcatcher
Some may think Foxcatcher is a bit slow, but I think the methodical nature of the piece gives great depth and insight into the characters onscreen.

Best Adapted Screenplay of 2014

Honorable Mention
The Theory of Everything - Anthony McCarten

#5 - Joon-ho Bong and Kelly Masterson - Snowpiercer
This one works because not only is it an action flick, but there's actually some significant, meaningful, allegorical story to go along with it.  (SoN)

#4 - Graham Moore - The Imitation Game
Moore's Oscar-winning biopic screenplay (a genre I normally despise) cleverly passes through three time lines with each strengthening one another without feeling the least bit gimmicky.

#3 - Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth - Edge of Tomorrow
A Groundhog's Day-esque film that repeats itself many times over surprisingly manages to provide a unique experience every time the main character's life reboots.  Humorous and action-filled, this one's a fun ride.

#2 - Damien Chazelle - Whiplash
"There are no two words more harmful in the English language than 'good job.'"  That's a line that's stuck with me since I first saw Whiplash nearly ten months ago.  While the story is simplistic, the relationship between the two main characters is strikingly believable.

#1 - Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl
How Gillian Flynn didn't garner an Oscar nomination for adapting her own novel Gone Girl is beyond me.  You can dislike the film all you want (and the Academy certainly seemed to), but you must recognize that her Hitchcockian ear for suspense is top notch.  Not only do we get an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but we also get a skewering of the media's penchant to shape public opinion to their desires.

Previous RyMickey Award Winners
2013    --    2012
2011    --    2010
2009 (Adapted and Original)

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