Adapting someone elses work into your own words has gotta be a difficult task. I know many others will think that trying to come up with your own original
idea is even trickier if not more. While I completely agree with that statement, I find that the writer who adapts has just a bit more stress than others.
Not only do they have to cut the novel’s massive length down to something that is just two hours . They also have to add in their own distinct voice while remaining true to the original vision of that author.
The Following five nominees display that power with great success.
Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Ben Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar
Adapted from the stage play “Juicy and Delicious” by Lucy Alibar. Her and director Ben Zeitlin wrote this story about a young girl named Hushpuppy(Quevenzhane Wallis) and her adventures in a Katrina like environment. Although her home lacks the basic things we take for granted like electricity and water. She never once behaves like a victim and works hard at making her world appear to be very beautiful. Hushpuppy survives in elements for years when most of us wouldn’t last a week. When the Government moves in and starts getting everyone out. I wanted to scream because it wasn’t right Just because something works for you doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.
Lincoln. Tony Kushner
President Abraham Lincoln(Daniel Day Lewis) was one of our most famous presidents ever and it would have been so easy to just do a basic biopic of his life. What Tony Kushner focused on was just one chapter in his life, but it was the most important one. With a nation divided on the issue of slavery, the approach that Mr Lincoln does to help abolish it took a lot of charm and some political deceitfulness too. Tony Kushner showed us a part of history that has many elements of our own system today.
Silver Linings Playbook. David O Russell
Combining both drama and comedy into a story and having both of them work(sometimes during the same scene) takes a lot of skill and effort, Writer and director David O Russell does a fine job with both. Based on the book by Matthew Quick; “Silver Linings Playbook” is about no matter where we are in life, no matter how low we may feel. There are others that truly understand and love you despite all of that. The mental illness that Bradley Cooper displays is heartbreaking, but his transformation with the help of Jennifer Lawrence’s character is extremely heartwarming. The outcome could really go in either direction, and it’s the unexpected journey that Mr O Russell brings us that makes it a real winner.
Life of Pi. David Magee
The Novel by Yann Martel was filled with so much visual detail. One would think that an accurate adaptation would be lost on the big screen. Luckily screenwriter David Magee teamed up with a visual artist in Ang Lee in adapting this story. Religion is a major aspect of the story, but don’t believe it is the main theme of it. I just saw it as man’s attempt to understand nature instead of simply fearing it.
Argo. Chris Terrio
What sets “Argo” apart from other political thrillers is that there is a lot of humor interwoven into its story. The basic premise of using a fake movie to help hostages escape is absurd just by itself. It could have been a great slapstick comedy with Steve Martin or Will Ferrell. The fact that it was based on true accounts of CIA agent Tony Mendez and The Iran Hostage crises. Makes it one that needs to be seen to fully believed. It had me laughing at several moments, and even though I know the outcome, I was still gripping my seat in anticipation.
All signs are pointing to either “Lincoln” or “Argo” to take home this award, and I can’t find any fault in that. It’s just that I think “Silver Linings Playbook“is a much better story. Then again “Cabin in the Woods” puts all of those other movies to shame with its clever script, and it got no love so what do I know.