A screenplay is arguably the most important part of a film. It is the basis for the movie that follows and without it there would be nothing even resembling a film. There is a lot of debate about which category is the more difficult achievement, my opinion is that an original work is a greater achievement since it originates from nothing. The films nominated for this award are all unique and each one has the potential to go the distance, since each falls into a different genre and is such an original work.
The nominees for Best Original Screenplay are:
- The Big Sick – Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, this film hits comedic highs and dramatic lows. This comedy is very unconventional and its humor stems from from Nanjiani’s own career and several of the events that might seem exaggerated are true moments. This screenplay is a first effort by a pair of gifted writers with a real story to tell.
- Get Out – The most surprising film nominated this year, not because it doesn’t deserve to be on the list, but because of its writer. Jordan Peele has been a comedian for a number of years and this film is not really a comedy. This horror film which takes on a lot of deeply-rooted social issues shows that everyone has a different side and that every side can be worth exploring.
- Lady Bird – A deeply personal story, told in a deeply personal way, this film comes from actress Greta Gerwig, who roots the story in moments from her own life and owns the story in every way. Nostalgic in all the right ways, this film flashes back to the early 2000s and never misses a chance to embrace that period. Definitely one of the more detail-oriented pieces nominated this year.
- The Shape of Water – Not much needs to be said about Guillermo del Toro’s script or the content of his film, but I will give a shout out to his co-writer Vanessa Taylor who helps him breathe life into some incredible three-dimensional characters whose stories are told with the perfect flourish. A smart script from a smart director, this one is almost too original to fail.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – It is hard to believe that this screenplay isn’t based on something else. No book or real event has any bearing on this story, Martin McDonagh simply had a story he wanted to tell, so he told it. There are so many great lines in this film and so much exposition on characters who would be great even if all they had were witty one-liners, this one is a unique experience.
My Prediction to win is…
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri