Frank Awards 2013: Screenplays

Hello everyone, here are the categories for today, quite important if you ask me, so let’s go straight ahead to the next two Frank Awards, maybe here we can start to see some favorites or future winners on bigger categories.

Best Screenplay, Adapted:

Last year, the award for the best adapted screenplay was for four writers, the four writers who adapted J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, a book I recently had the chance to read after many years of trying (it’s charming and incredible, specially when you compare it to the movies, how it expands upon this small book), those writers were Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro for the movie ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ (2012). During 2013, all four writers repeated their roles in the sequel, who also happens to be nominated for a Frank Award this year in the same category, so let’s see what happens. Also, Guillermo del Toro directed and wrote ‘Pacific Rim’ who has been seen in some categories, but not this one in particular, because it isn’t really that original of a screenplay.

So, the nominees this year are the best example of why sometimes adapting or continuing things isn’t such a bad thing after all. For example, Joe Ahearne and John Hodge took a TV movie that nobody seems to remember today and made a great movie about hypnosis, theft, art and love with ‘Trance’. On their own time, and not as random and improvised as it seems, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Kim Krizan are brought together once again to script the movie that may be the best of the trilogy in ‘Before Midnight’. Actual real accounts of facts are one of the most inane and sometimes oscar craving out there, and they aren’t that great most of the time, but the exception comes with John Ridley’s script for the oscarized movie ’12 Years a Slave’, that brings forward the language and the narration pathos of the time, but also being loyal to what actually happened, as written by the protagonist Solomon Nurthup. As mentioned before, the winners of last year come back this time adapting the second third of the book “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien (also a winner of a Frank Award last year, yeah, that’s how I roll), with the splendid work of expanding and being loyal to the source by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. The credit for this screenplay was maybe my biggest laugh in theaters in a long time, as I saw that Terence Winter based his script for the film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ on the book written by the protagonist, Jordan Belfort, another way of telling us how condeming and gratifying at the same time this movie could be.

So, the nominees are:
· Joe Ahearne and John Hodge for ‘Trance’, being a remake
· Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Kim Krizan for ‘Before Midnight’, being a sequel
· John Ridley for ’12 Years a Slave’, based on the book by Solomon Nurthup
· Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’, based on the novel “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
· Terence Winter for ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, based on the book by Jordan Belfort

And the winner/s is/are:

Terence Winter managed to get the juices out of Jordan Belfort’s memoir and stuck it out not only for the author, but for the guilt driven director that Martin Scorsese is, he manages to put a spin on it, giving it places for comedy, horror and unexpected breakings of the fourth wall. A wonderful work of scripture that gives ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ its place to be a great movie.

Best Screenplay, Original:

So, last year Quentin Tarantino won in this category for the wonderfully snappy and grabbing screenplay of ‘Django Unchained’ (2012), making it his second time winner of a Frank Award. During 2013 there was a lot of talking about his future works, but he didn’t really worked on anything, as expected.

This year the original screenplays were astonishing, one of the best works I’ve seen in years, they surpass the adapted by a mile. Andrew Bujalski is an independent filmmaker, he was known for his work in the mumblecore genre, but at the same time he managed to become something else, a filmmaker of his own, and he demonstrated that with his screenplay for ‘Computer Chess’, a work of magic, how the words and the technical jargon mixes up with the feelings and not so robotic elements of the film itself. Spike Jonze creates cutesy words, but at the same time he puts them in a context that its a creation on its own, a future world where anything can happen, a world where the love between people is something that could expand into something much more deeper, but at the same time real and heartbreaking, he does that with the screenplay of ‘Her’. The actor Wentworth Miller wrote his first screenplay and with the extra work of Erin Cressida Wilson it came together as the work that would give Chan-wook Park his chance to direct a movie in the United States, the story is hitchcockian in itself and Park only gives the visual details that seem to almost be written in this dark tale of obsession that is ‘Stoker’. ‘Yi dai zong shi’ might not seem to be a very written film, but the way that it mixes flashbacks, sequences, big lapses of time, transits and big epicness goes around only if you write a lot about those events, and that is to be thanked to Kar Wai Wong, Hoefeng Xu and Jingzhi Zou. A former Frank Award nominee, Edgar Wright (nominated for his script of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’ (2010) ), this time works with his eternal partner Simon Pegg to write what seems to be the final in his Cornetto Trilogy, ‘The World’s End’, a film not only deep in its references but its dialogue as well, deep and at the same time entertaining, snappy and wonderful, a treat.

So, the nominees are:
· Andrew Bujalski for ‘Computer Chess’
· Spike Jonze for ‘Her’
· Wentworth Miller and Erin Cressida Wilson for ‘Stoker’
· Kar Wai Wong, Haofeng Xu and Jingzhi Zou for ‘Yi dai zong shi’
· Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg for ‘The World’s End’

And the winner/s is/are:

Spike Jonze managed to confirm that he was a great storyteller with ‘Her’, not only in the visual sense, as he always has been, but also now in the written word, how he plays and hides elements and shows us the most beautiful words put on film this year. Love in Valentine’s Day.

Tomorrow: Performance is King.

One response to “Frank Awards 2013: Screenplays

  1. Pingback: Gloria, Young Mr. Lincoln, Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts and upcoming ‘The Complete Hitchcock’ on Monday Morning Diary (February 17) | Wonders in the Dark·

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