Good evening. It’s Gigi the parti poodle here again for another weekly post. Today my novelist is going to do the blog she previously promised to do last week. Today we’ll conclude this short series of movie lists and next week we will start on one of my favorite writing topics: personality types. But for now, I am going to curl up in my soft leather chair while my novelist discusses movies passed over for screenwriting nominations by Oscar.
It was surprising to me when I was putting this list together the number of great films which got past over for screenwriting nominations for the past two decades. Let’s be honest. This film era has not been stellar. In the 90’s you couldn’t throw a wild cat without hitting a movie worth watching. These days it takes a lot more hunting around. The golden age of the independent film era ran from approximately 1989 until 2001. And it’s been a dreary dry spell ever since. Occasionally you’ll find a sleeper like the one I watched this last weekend, The Art of Self Defense. If you haven’t had a chance to see this weird little gem, I strongly suggest you check it out. Jesse Eisenberg is outstanding in the lead role. It’s quirky, original and its own animal. If you’ve ever had any experience with self-defense training, you’ll have a ball with it. It’s written and directed by Riley Stearns who may be one to watch. I look forward to his next project.
Now for the list. Why any of the films here were passed over is a complete mystery to me and you should make it a point to watch each one of them. Here’s just a few examples:
I had the pleasure of re-watching Zodiac a week ago and what a pleasure it was. The film is nearly thirteen years old and it still looks like it was made yesterday. Its as chilling as ever and beautifully written. What a job James Vanderbilt did piecing together such an expanse of time with utter deftness. It never bogs, never confuses us, never looses its tension. And yet its script was completely ignored by the Oscars.
If you think this year’s Oscar winner Parasite was good you should look at his earlier film Memories of Murder. Based on a true story about a Korean serial killer, the film is both funny and disturbing and resonates for days after viewing. Much like the brilliant Citizen X the film explores the brutal toll hunting down a psychopath takes on its police force and the frustration of 1986 DNA technology.
If your looking for a love story its hard to dispute one more passionate than Head-On (Gegen Die Wand). A gritty and beautiful film about a woman who wants her freedom and the man she marries to get it. This won twenty-five international awards but apparently that’s not enough to merit an Oscar nod for its spectacular original script…and will probably be stolen and remade by Hollywood in years to come.
And if you really want something that slaps you in the face and knocks you to the ground check out 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, an absolutely riveting timebomb about a young Romanian woman who frantically attempts to assist her friend in getting an abortion in 1980’s Romania. It will rip your guts out.
I post every Thursday. That’s the schedule. While you’re waiting for my next post check out my novel Chicane currently available on Amazon.
25 GREAT SCREENPLAYS NOT NOMINATED FOR A SCREENWRITING OSCAR 2000-2019
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Isle of Dogs
Leave No Trace
Maria Full of Grace
Memories of Murder
The Lives of Others
Walk the Line