But read below, if you must.
50/50, Written by Will Reiser; Summit Entertainment
Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig; Universal Studios
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
Win Win, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy; Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe
Tiboni; Fox Searchlight
Young Adult, Written by Diablo Cody; Paramount Pictures
The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim
Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemming; Fox Searchlight
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian; Based
on the novel by Stieg Larsson, originally published by Norstedts;
The Help, Screenplay by Tate Taylor; Based on the novel by Kathryn
Stockett; DreamWorks Pictures
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan; Based on the book The Invention of
Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; Paramount Pictures
Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by
Stan Chervin; Based on the book by Michael Lewis; Columbia Pictures
Better This World, Written by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega;
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Written by
Marshall Curry and Matthew Hamachek; Oscilloscope Pictures
Nostalgia for the Light, Written by Patricio Guzmán; Icarus Films
Pina, Screenplay by Wim Wenders; Sundance Selects
Position Among the Stars, Script by Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich,
Leonard Retel Helmrich; HBO Films
Senna, Written by Manish Pandey; Producers Distribution Agency
What does it mean? Well, The Artist, Drive, Shame, and Beginners were ineligible due to the WGA’s rules — you know, only some of the best movies of the year. Which leaves room for much safer and less exciting choices.
Don’t get me wrong, I like most of these movies. I just like other ones better. In the Original category, it’s nice to see Bridesmaids and Young Adult, both edgy comedies in their own way, gaining some steam. Midnight In Paris was playful and fun, but painted with awfully broad strokes at times; 50/50‘s stakes seemed curiously low for a movie about life and death, though I enjoyed many individual moments; Win Win is an engaging and enjoyable story, if not a remarkable one.
The Adapted choices are fairly predictable, but even my favorite of those films, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, neglected to solve a few pacing problems created in the book. The Descendants had bad voice over and its land sale subplot never came together satisfyingly for me; Moneyball came up a little short on dynamic relationships between its characters; Hugo perhaps stated its themes too blatantly and a few too many times, though I do admire the way they were all woven together. Strangely enough, The Help may be the most successful on an adaptation level, and though I think parts of the story are quite weak, that seems more like the book’s fault than the movie’s.
Ah, well. What do screenwriters know, anyway?