‘And the Oscar goes to….’, hearing your own name after these words is what most people live for in the Entertainment Industry. While not many are able to realize that dream, those who do are remembered forever. Oscars have a long-range of categories thereby recognizing the efforts of every individual involved in making a movie great. And while it’s only with a combination of all that a movie becomes great, there are some important parts that cannot be neglected when making a movie as it is these things that audiences and critics look for. One such thing is the story or the plot, or more peculiarly the screenplay/script.
A movie cannot be made without a script, and while there have been instances where the scripts for movies have been written on the day of the shooting, already written scripts are always better, just as how prevention is always better than cure. Scripts have always been an important part of movie making for various reasons such as in settings, in dialogues, etc. And while improvisations are always welcomed by directors, the tone of the film should never be totally forgotten.
The Oscar awards for a screenplay are further divided into two categories, they are, Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. While Original Screenplay considers the original idea and the script, adapted is about a previous work that is adapted while using the cinematic experience.
The Oscars for 2020/21 were recently announced and the winner for the Best Adapted Screenplay was ‘The Father’ which was based on the play ‘Le pere’ by Zeller. Now let’s take a look at the winners of the category for the previous five times.
1. Jojo Rabbit: Winner of the category for 2019, this comedy-drama was actually adapted from the book Caging Skies which was written by Christine Leunens. Made under the direction of Taika Waititi, the film was a financial and critical success. The movie was also appreciated because of its cast members which included Roman Griffin Davis in the title character along with Scarlett Johansson, and Thomasin McKenzie. Taika Waititi, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, and Sam Rockwell were in supporting roles.
2. BlacKkKlansman: Winner of the category for 2018, this movie was a biographical comedy crime film, with its original source being the memoir Black Klansman which came out in 2014 and was written by Ron Stallworth. The movie received appraisal and acclaim for the direction of Spike Lee and the acting of John David Washington and Adam Driver. Based on the plot of a black man infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan the movie also had Laura Harrier, and Topher Grace in roles.
3. Call Me by Your Name: Winner of the category for 2017, Call Me by Your Name was a coming-of-age romantic drama film, which was based on a novel with the same name in 2007, written by André Aciman. The story of two lovers, set in Northern Italy, the movie was directed by Luca Guadagnino and had Timothy Chalamet and Armie Hammer as lead actors. The movie received appreciation and was a complete success. Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois were also in supporting roles in the movie.
4. Moonlight: Winner of the category for 2016, this was a coming-of-age drama film based on the unpublished play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The movie was directed by Barry Jenkins and was a great success for its critical acclaim. Based on the life of a single guy going through various phases in his life the movie stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali. The movie had a number of nominations and also the acting and direction of the cast were deeply appreciated.
5. The Big Short: Winner of the category in 2015, this biographical comedy-drama was based on the 2010 novel named The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine which was written by Michael Lewis. Under the direction of Adam McKay, this movie has explained the 2008 financial crisis and the bursting of the housing bubble. The movie was a critical and commercial success and the acting of its cast was appreciated which included Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.
The movie is also known for its cameos by Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez, Richard Thaler to explain various financial concepts. It also had Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, John Magaro, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Finn Wittrock, and Marisa Tomei in supporting roles.
Thus it’s clear from such examples that better adaptations of already created works do lead to success, as long as it’s done the right way. As the famous Director Alfred Hitchcock has said, use cinema to tell stories that have already been told.