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||| Andrei Tarkovsky |||
Andrei Tarkovsky

Tarkovsky's contemplative, metaphysical films, more experienced than watched, are perhaps best described in the director's own words: sculptures in time.

In the post-apocalypse, a writer and scientist hire a "stalker" to guide them into The Zone, a mysterious and restricted wasteland with fabled, alien properties. Their journey, captured by Tarkovsky as a succession of incredible images, has, since, been read as political commentary, religious allegory, and Chernobyl prophesized.

Tarkovsky's visionary biography of the 15th-century icon painter is one of cinema's most majestic and solemn experiences. In some way, it will change you.

An adaptation of Stanis?aw Lem's novel of the same name, Tarkovsky's genre-less sci-fi film, which is set mostly aboard a space station hovering off a strange planet, tangles with issues of identity, death and reality in a way that will leave you agape, in the full meaning.

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Oscar Handicap 2012: The Screenplays

By EdwardHavens

February 23rd, 2012

Our annual Oscar Handicap series continues with a look at the writing categories.

Oscar Handicap 2012: The Screenplays

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)


As a writer myself, I admire the hard work and dedication it takes to create a story that can crawl above the din of the seemingly millions of screenplays floating about. While many will say coming up with an original story is the tougher job, I believe it is the adaptation that is trickier. You have to find the balance between what to keep and what to cut, pleasing the author (if they are still alive) and/or the fans of the work. Everything really does begin with the written word. This is where it all begins, and any director who says a screenplay is just a blueprint is just an egotistical jackhole who needs to go back to making music videos and Planters commercials.


Best Original Screenplay

The Breakdowns
1) Best Original Screenplays have won for a film with at least one acting nomination 32 of the past 33 ceremonies (96.97%). Advantage: The Artist, Bridesmaids
2) A film also nominated for Best Director has won for Best Original Screenplay 27 of 33 (81.82%). Advantage: The Artist, Midnight in Paris
3) A film also nominated for Best Picture has won here 27 of 33 (81.82%). Advantage: The Artist, Midnight in Paris
4) Films written by first-time nominees have won 27 of 33 (81.82%). Advantage: The Artist, Bridesmaids, Margin Call, A Separation
5) A BAFTA nominee for Best Screenplay hsa won 27 of 33 (81.82%). Advantage: The Artist, Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris
6) As long as you're not the one who wrote the lowest grossing nominee at the time of the announcements, you've won 27 of 33 (81.82%). Advantage: The Artist, Bridesmaids, Margin Call, Midnight in Paris
7) Dramas have won Best Original Screenplay 24 of 33 (72.73%). Advantage: Margin Call, A Separation
8) Original Screenplays set mainly in the United States have won 24 of 33 (72.73%). Advantage: The Artist, Bridesmaids, Margin Call
9) Screenplays with only one credited writer have won 24 of 33 (72.73%). Advantage: The Artist, Margin Call, Midnight in Paris, A Separation
10) Nominees for the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay have won here 24 of 33 (72.73%). Advantage: The Artist, Midnight in Paris
11) Best Original Screenplay winners have had stories based in the past twenty years 22 of 33 (66.67%). Advantage: Bridesmaids, Margin Call, Midnight in Paris, A Separation
12) The winner of the WGA Award for Original Screenplay has gone on to win the Oscar 20 of 33 (60.61%). Advantage: Midnight in Paris
Bonus)If you're the film's only chance of winning an award this evening, forget about it. Sorry, J.C. Chandor. (0%)

By The Numbers
The filmmaker with the name you just can't pronounce quite right should return home with at least one golden statuette.
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius): +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, -7, +8, +9, +10, -11, -12 (272 for 396, 68.69%)
Bridesmaids (Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig): +1, -2, -3, +4, +5, +6, -7, +8, -9, -10, +11, -12 (211 for 396, 53.28%)
Margin Call (J.C. Chandor): -1, -2, -3, +4, -5, +6, +7, +8, +9, -10, +11, -12 (189 for 396, 47.73%)
Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen): -1, +2, +3, -4, +5, +6, -7, -8. +9, +10, +11, +12 (223 for 396, 56.31%)
A Separation (by Asghar Farhadi): -1, -2, -,3 +4, -5, -6, +7, -8, +9, -10, +11, -12 (153 for 396, 38.64%)


Best Adapted Screenplay

The Breakdowns
1) A film also nominated for Best Director has won for Best Adapted Screenplay 31 of 33 times (93.94%). Advantage: The Descendants, Hugo, Moneyball
2) Films with at least one acting nomination have won 30 of 33 times (90.91%). Advantage: The Descendants, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
3) As long as you're not the lowest grossing nominee at the time of the nominations, you've won 30 of 33 (90.91%). Advantage: The Descendants, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball
4) Winners here have come from movies with a Best Director nomination 27 of 33 (81.82%). Advantage: The Descendants, Hugo
5) Screenplays with only one credited writer have won 26 of 33 (78.79%). Advantage: Hugo
6) Nominees for the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay have won here 26 of 33 (78.79%). Advantage: The Descendants, The Ides of March, Moneyball
7) Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winners have come from those also nominated for the BAFTA in the same category 26 of 33 (78.79%). Advantage: The Descendants, The Ides of March, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
8) The winner of the Writers Guild award in this category has also won here 25 of 33 (75.76%). Advantage: The Descendants
9) Nominees which take place outside of the past twenty years have won 22 of 33 (66.67%). Advantage: Hugo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
10) First-time Oscar nominees have won in this category 22 of 33 (66.67%). Advantage: The Descendants (Faxon and Rash), The Ides of March (Willimon), Moneyball (Chervin), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (O'Connor and Straughan)

By The Numbers
We see a second writing Oscar in the future for Alexander Payne
The Descendants (Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash): +1, +2, +3, +4, -5, +6, +7, +8, -9, +10 (235 for 330, 71.21%)
Hugo (John Logan): +1, -2, +3, +4, +5, -6 -7, +8, +9, -10 (189 for 330, 57.27%)
The Ides of March (George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon): -1, -2, +3, -4, -5, +6, +7, -8, -9, +10 (141 for 330, 42.73%)
Moneyball (Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin): +1, +2, +3, -4, -5, +6, +7, +8, -9, +10 (214 for 330, 64.85%)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan): -1, +2, -3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8, +9, +10 (133 for 330, 40.30%)


All articles in this series:
Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature
The Technical Categories