Director and screenwriter Danny Boyle teamed up with Simon Beaufoy to write the script for this true story about a mountain climber who resorts to extreme survival methods after his arm gets trapped under a boulder. Based on Aron Ralston’s account of the event in his autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Boyle and Beaufoy did a superb job of adapting the tale for the big screen. In a script of few words, the writers adequately depict Ralston’s struggle through the ordeal with the creative use of cameras and a unique interpretation of point of view.
“The Social Network”
There is a rumor screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has perhaps written the tightest and sharpest script of 2010 with “The Social Network.” Prominent in Hollywood for writing films like “A Few Good Men” and “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Sorkin outdid himself this year. Based on Ben Mezrich’s nonfiction book, The Accidental Billionaires, he illustrates the birth of Facebook by founders Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and Eduardo Saverin. The screenplay is almost flawless, with quick and witty dialogue throughout as well as moments of emotional outbursts and skin-clenching tension. Don’t be surprised if Sorkin walks away with the Oscar for his adaptation of Facebook’s creation myth.
“Toy Story 3”
The latest animated feature from Pixar has touched thousands of children everywhere with memorable characters like Woody, Buzz and Mr. Potato Head. “Toy Story 3” led some of us to tears when Andy let go of his toys to move on to college. The last time I choked up over a bunch of plastic figurines was when I was about five years old and they looked delicious at the time. Let that be a testament to the poignancy of Michael Arndt’s beautifully crafted script, which brought the classic tale of living toys to a graceful end. His adapted screenplay was based on Andrew Stanton’s original treatment for the film, who co-wrote the first two “Toy Story” movies. Arndt first started working with Pixar on the script in 2006, and he is now up for an Oscar for his work.
From director and writer Debra Granik comes “Winter’s Bone,” which follows the story of Ree Dolly on a dangerous search for her father in order to save her home and family. The script, adapted from Daniel Woodrell’s novel of the same name, has received a significant amount of critical praise.
Joel and Ethan Coen — better known as the famous Coen brothers — have once again written a film that has landed them a nomination for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay.’ In 2008 they won the Oscar for their film “No Country for Old Men,” and they’re back again with a gripping Western classic. Based upon Charles Portis’s 1968 novel True Grit, the Coens’ rendition of the story is the second to be brought to the big screen: In 1969, John Wayne first played Rooster Cogburn. The Coens’ “True Grit” has critics raving over the script, especially any dialogue coming from Hailee Steinfeld as the sharp-tongued Mattie Ross — she steals the show with every word she speaks — and that’s why “True Grit” is Artsweek’s pick for Best Adapted Screenplay of 2010.