Complete with drama, comedy, romance and heartbreak, the films nominated for Best Original Screenplay are as formidable as they are diverse.
Perhaps the most obvious choice for the nomination, “The Aviator” is a biopic that chronicles the rise and fall of eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio), who produced such classic movies as “Hell’s Angels” and the original “Scarface,” and launched the career of starlet Jean Harlow. With a script written by John Logan, this Martin Scorsese film explores how a young Hughes uses his innovation and recklessness to become the world’s richest man. Although Logan’s intense thrill ride slows down in the second half of the movie, for the first hour and a half, “The Aviator” is a worthy contender in this category.
In contrast to “The Aviator’s” bombastic style, “Vera Drake,” a quiet drama written and directed by Mike Leigh, focuses on a seemingly normal woman who also has a dark secret: While she is a housewife by day, she is an abortionist by night. Her second life eventually spirals into devastation for her family, and Leigh’s emotional, deep script deftly navigates through the tragedy. The writing translates well to the big screen, but will likely be overlooked due to the big-name competition.
“The Incredibles,” Pixar’s latest jaunty animated film, tells the story of a family of retired superheroes peacefully living in suburbia under the guard of the witness protection program. The superb story, written by Brad Bird, about a middle-aged father looking for one more chance to save the day utilizes dazzling animation and special effects. “The Incredibles” has garnered praise from critics and audiences alike for its comedic animated format and original premise.
Adding to the undeniably diverse array of movies is “Hotel Rwanda,” the true story of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle) who saved the lives of thousands during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Keir Pearson and Terry George (who also directs) combined to write a script that grabs the attention of the audience with its emotion while still being deep enou gh to tell a fascinating story.
But the year’s most “original” screenplay is Charlie Kaufman’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” The film is a beautifully bizarre tale about the powers of true love, and “Eternal Sunshine” skips all the clich