A Century of Film

Adapted Screenplay

It didn’t take long for screenwriters to realize that what had been successful in other mediums could be successful in film as well.  After all, what is probably the first great film, A Trip to the Moon, came from H.G. Wells before Melies visualized it. (more…)

“There was a hush, and all turned their eyes on Frodo. He was shaken by a sudden shame and fear; and he felt a great reluctance to reveal the Ring, and a loathing of its touch. He wished he was far away. The Ring gleamed and flickered as he held it up before them in his trembling hand.” (p 240-241)

My Top 10

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. In the Bedroom
  3. Ghost World
  4. Vanilla Sky
  5. Last Orders
  6. Shrek
  7. Ocean’s Eleven
  8. A.I.
  9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  10. The Pledge

note:  Not a great Top 5 or Top 10.  It’s another of those years which is balanced by a fantastic group of original scripts (Amelie, Memento, Gosford Park, Monster’s Ball, Amores Perros, Royal Tenenbaums, Others, Man Who Wasn’t There).  My #11 (Black Hawk Down), 13 (Iris) and 14 (Bridget Jones) are reviewed down below because of nominations while the rest of my list (which reached 19) is down at the bottom. (more…)

“I would rather be a ghost, drifting by your side as a condemned soul, than enter heaven without you.” Because the book has never been translated, I have no idea if that brilliant line exists there in any way.

My Top 10

  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  2. Traffic
  3. Wonder Boys
  4. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  5. High Fidelity
  6. Thirteen Days
  7. The Virgin Suicides
  8. Quills
  9. The Claim
  10. Aimee and Jaguar

note:  A truly fantastic Top 7 though it drops a bit after that.  My list continues down below though my #18 (Chocolat) and #19 (All the Pretty Horses) aren’t on that list because they’re reviewed as nominees. (more…)

“So I said, I love him and I’ll do anything if you make him alive. I said very slowly, I’ll give him up for ever, only let him be alive with a chance, and I pressed and pressed and I could feel the skin break, and I said, People can love without seeing each other, can’t they they, they love You all their lives without seeing You, and then he came in at the door, and he was alive, and I thought now the agony of being without him starts, and I wished he was safely back dead again under the door.” (p 95)

My Top 10

  1. The End of the Affair
  2. Eyes Wide Shut
  3. Toy Story 2
  4. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  5. The Insider
  6. Election
  7. Metroland
  8. Felicia’s Journey
  9. My Son the Fanatic
  10. The Cider House Rules

note:  A solid Top 5 but not so much for the Top 10.  But of course that’s balanced, as if often is, by a truly incredible original group of original scripts (American Beauty, Magnolia, Being John Malkovich, Three Kings, Topsy Turvy, Sixth Sense, Sweet and Lowdown, Following, Run Lola Run, Princess Mononoke, Abre Los Ojos).  This list is a bit different from the Nighthawk Awards because I saw Metroland since then and Fight Club dropped a bit when I re-watched it for the project – I still reviewed it because I had already gone through the effort of writing it, so it’s down at the bottom.  The rest of my list is shorter than usual and Fight Club (#11) is reviewed below as are my #16 (An Ideal Husband) and #17 (October Sky) because of award nominations. (more…)

“He didn’t move.  Not until the elevator door began to close.  Then raised his hand.  He did – Karen positive now it was Foley – raised his hand to her as the door closed.”  (p 148)

My Top 10

  1. Out of Sight
  2. Gods and Monsters
  3. Primary Colors
  4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  5. Ringu
  6. Live Flesh
  7. A Simple Plan
  8. The Butcher Boy
  9. Character
  10. Apt Pupil

note:  A very strong Top 4 but then it starts to fall off badly.  The full list is long, though, and is listed down at the bottom except for my #16 (Little Voice) which is reviewed because of its BAFTA nomination. (more…)

A primer on great screenwriting: using characters as they existed in the book but doing what you have to do to compress the story and get it to come out right on scene. In other words, there is no scene like this in the book.

My Top 10

  1. L.A. Confidential
  2. The Sweet Hereafter
  3. The Ice Storm
  4. Jackie Brown
  5. Oscar and Lucinda
  6. The Wings of the Dove
  7. Wag the Dog
  8. Donnie Brasco
  9. Absolute Power
  10. The Winter Guest

note:  A great Top 5 and very good Top 10.  My list continues down at the bottom.

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“Then Renton was hit by a wave of shock which threatened to knock him incoherent.  A girl came into the room.  As he watched her, a coldness came over him.  She was the double of Dianne, but this girl looked barely secondary school age.  It took him a few seconds to realize that it was Dianne.”  (p 145)

My Top 10

  1. Trainspotting
  2. The English Patient
  3. The Crucible
  4. Cold Comfort Farm
  5. Emma
  6. Hamlet
  7. The Birdcage
  8. Romeo + Juliet
  9. Mother Night
  10. Star Trek: First Contact

note:  A fantastic Top 5 and a strong Top 10 with a few more listed down at the bottom.  A rare year in that it’s also fantastic for Original Screenplay.  This year has the highest average score for the two Screenplay awards in history. (more…)

“His words were echoed with unspeakable astonishment by all but Elinor, who sat with her head leaning over her work, in a state of such agitation as made her hardly know where she was.”  (p 335

My Top 10

  1. Sense and Sensibility
  2. Les Miserables
  3. To Die For
  4. Leaving Las Vegas
  5. 12 Monkeys
  6. Get Shorty
  7. Richard III
  8. Clockers
  9. An Awfully Big Adventure
  10. Il Postino

note:  It’s a decent (but not great) Top 5 and a more solid Top 10.  My own list is much longer and continues down at the bottom though Dead Man Walking (my #12), Apollo 13 (#15) and Babe (my #24) are reviewed because of award nominations. (more…)

This didn’t come straight from the book but neither did anything else in the film.

My Top 10

  1. Ed Wood
  2. The Shawshank Redemption
  3. Quiz Show
  4. Nobody’s Fool
  5. Grave of the Fireflies
  6. The Madness of King George
  7. Little Women
  8. Death and the Maiden
  9. Vanya on 42nd Street
  10. To Live

note:  There will be more to say about this in the Awards post which comes next. (more…)

One of the most disturbing scenes in film history and it’s not in the book at all.

My Top 10

  1. Schindler’s List
  2. The Age of Innocence
  3. The Remains of the Day
  4. In the Name of the Father
  5. Shadowlands
  6. The Snapper
  7. Much Ado About Nothing
  8. Short Cuts
  9. Like Water for Chocolate
  10. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

note:  A very strong Top 5 and Top 10.  There are several more movies on my list at the bottom though The Fugitive (#13) and Strictly Ballroom (#17) aren’t included because they’re reviewed below as award nominees. (more…)