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Oscar Banter: Original Screenplay

by on February 20, 2013

By Taylor Gaines and Steven Halsey

 This is the first installment of a little Oscar debate where Steven and I will discuss who we think should win some of the most important Academy Awards. We will start with Best Writing for a Screenplay Directly Written for the Screen, commonly known as Best Original Screenplay. 


Michael HanekeAmour (2012)

John GatinsFlight (2012) 

Mark BoalZero Dark Thirty (2012)


This is a tough category to pick a winner.  Haneke’s “Amour” and Anderson/Coppola’s “Moonrise Kingdom” explore the distances that people, young and old, will go to in order to express or preserve true love.

Tarantino’s “Django” is a spaghetti western of epic proportions that toes the line between political correctness and racial insensitivity while never failing to entertain its audience.

Gatins’ “Flight” went places some people did not think it would go, delving into heavy-handed psychological  and religious issues. The story was winding and sometimes unbelievable but still well-done.

Boal’s “Zero Dark Thirty” collected popular opinion and turned it into a tense, tactful film that talked about things many politicians and leaders didn’t want talked about.

Each was brilliant and groundbreaking in its own right but I believe Tarantino takes home his second Academy Award for the sheer boldness and audacity of his screenplay. He brought out things in Jamie Foxx I had never imagined seeing and reminded us that we have to look back and laugh at ourselves sometimes.

Honestly, I can’t see myself upset if any of these five came away with the victory but Tarantino is my pick. Where do you fall on the debate, Steven? And how do you decide?


I hate to re-state your ideas, but in this category unfortunately our opinions are the same.

Fun fact: only two of the last ten Best Original Screenplay winners were left out of the Best Picture nominees [“Talk to Her” (2002) and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004)].

If this trend continues, which I believe it will, that narrows it down to “Django,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Amour”. Haneke has never won this category, and  foreign films tend not to not fare well here. The last to win Best Original Screenplay was Pedro Almodovar’s “Hable con Ella (Talk To Her)” (2002) at the 75th Academy Awards.

Although both Tarantino and Boal have won this category before, Tarantino’s was back in 1994 with “Pulp Fiction” (1994), whereas Boal’s came with “The Hurt Locker” (2008) just four years ago. I have a hard time believing the Oscar will again go to Boal so soon, especially with the usual public preference of “racial insensitivity” over “political correctness” as you hinted at above.

“Django Unchained” is the best and most original screenplay of the year.

From → Oscars

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