Adapting a story to fit a script is never easy. You have to condense, restructure, often add scenes for dramatic or comedic effect and sometimes you have to remove scenes because movies can’t be 15 hours long and maybe they won’t miss it.
But most importantly, you have to remain faithful to the source material. Here is our 2017 predictions for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Oh it is not difficult for me to sing about what a great film Moonlight is, and a large part of that is due to the script.
The story of Chiron and his development from childhood to adulthood is one that is told in fragments, with different characters fleshing out his world and dialogue that not only centers his place in his own mind but also creates the world in which he sees himself.
The screenplay is almost lyrical in its description and comes across onscreen like a well-made pie.
I really want Moonlight to win every award possible but I’m going with Fences to win best adapted screenplay. August Wilson wrote the play and began writing the screenplay but did not complete it as he passed away in 2005.
Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner then came on board to finish the screenplay but the faithfulness to the source material was never in doubt due to Denzel Washington, who starred in 114 Broadway performances of the Fences stage play, taking the director’s seat.
The Fences screenplay was written by August Wilson, who wrote the original play before many of us were even born.
The play received a Pulitzer Prize so it’s not surprising that the movie has received so much critical acclaim. It’s definitely my pick for best adapted screenplay.
Best adapted screenplay will likely go to Arrival. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to pick up Best Picture. I’d be surprised if it does, but out of all the films in this category, I think Arrival might be the one that loses out of some of the more dominant categories (as considered by the media and superficial Hollywood), but may just pick up a win for best adapted screenplay.
It’s based off a short story called ‘Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiang (which I’d love to read some time), and adapting from this format should give it a lot of traction as a short story provides the opportunity for some exceptional creativity in the process of adapting the material.
This is clearly on the screen when you watch Arrival. I’m sticking by Arrival, but my dark horse for this category would be Fences, because everyone said that could never be a film (But I think this is down more to Denzel Washington’s direction, as well as he and Viola Davis’ acting abilities).
I chose Moonlight because it’s one of this year’s best written motion pictures. It’s set in a world where not many words are needed to get emotions across – worlds move with a glimpse or with a pause.
It’s tremendous in the way that it’s written to safeguard the privacy of the characters and the immense power they hold within each other and the people around them. What was done with this film is extraordinary because of its sensitive subject matter and how easily it could be a new Brokeback Mountain minus the cowboys – but it totally steers itself beyond.
It’s so powerful, a mess actually yet so raw and precise. The subject matter is so sensitive and the writers handled it so carefully, giving it such added value and achieved a stellar work of art.
What is your prediction for Best Adapted Screenplay?
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