TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is once again part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will continue to be a reoccurring theme during each month. Today specifically is about Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, which are actually categories I’m kind of fond of. Maybe it’s the writer in me. Here we go with my picks!

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)

I adore this movie with all my heart. Even if you don’t take into consideration the absolute fantastic cinematography and style choices, the way this story was told was simply fantastic. Emerald Fennell took such great care with every single aspect of this movie, doing research about minute details, I love it. Just plain love it.

Get Out (Jordan Peele)

I was so happy to see Get Out be as successful as it turned out to be. Social commentary entertaining horror is a whole genre in itself and Jordan Peele really showcased his range with this project and all the things that followed.

Honorable Mention: The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani)

The Big Sick was nominated the same year that Get Out won, which is obviously a very worthy winner. Still, I watched The Big Sick when it was only shown on limited release in selected cities and I fell head over heels in love with the movie. The fact that it’s based on the lives (albeit dramatized) of Gordon and Nanjiani just makes it all the better.

Honorable Mention: Knives Out (Rian Johnson)

Knives Out had no chance running against Parasite, but I still think it was such a fun and lively script for a genre that is often played out and predictable. I’ve watched this movie more than five times and never felt bored, which can only be attributed to great storytelling (and acting).

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi)

Taika really did something when he decided to do this project. Talking about the atrocities of WWII and making it funny, heartfelt, emotional and entertaining is not an easy task, but he did it. The trailer doesn’t even begin to show the depth of this movie, while still having incredibly hilarious elements. I know it’s quite different from the source material, but I’m glad Taika made it his own.

Honorable Mention: Little Women (Greta Gerwig)

This is my favorite adaptation of Little Women ever. I loved the interwoven timelines and how Gerwig took elements from other stories by Alcott and included it here, because they still felt fitting and relevant (like my favorite monologue).

Honorable Mention: Arrival (Eric Heisserer)

Eric Heisserer is amazing at adapting material. Be it short stories or a whole book series, he just knows how to take the material and bring it to life on screen, change it to make it work for the new medium, but still stay true to the essence of the story and characters.


As you could see, I mostly focused on recent releases, but that’s just the way I am. What are some of your favorite original and adapted Oscar nominated screenplays? Let’s chat!

4 thoughts on “TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. My average isn’t terribly high of what you picked vs. what I’ve seen at only two though I’ve heard of them all.

    Of the two that I’ve seen Knives Out was my favorite. Such a fun, witty little caper flick with a sensational cast, even if I don’t think all of them were used to their maximum potential. A wonderful look as well.

    I finally caught up with this version of Little Women which I liked without loving. Perhaps it’s a certain fatigue with yet another take on the old warhorse but I it didn’t engage me as others have. I will say that Florence Pugh did wonders with Amy, a character that even Elizabeth Taylor in the 40’s version wasn’t able to make much more than a pampered dilettante. However as much a fan of hers as I am Meryl Streep was all wrong as Aunt March.

    Of the others I plan on seeing Promising Young Woman, love Carey Mulligan, and perhaps Get Out (though I’m not much for horror). That Adams creature will keep me away from Arrival more likely than not.

    So many ways to go with this! I ended up going with original screenplay winners which happened to win in sequential years all dealing with a crime.

    The Sting (1973)-David S. Ward-When their mutual friend is murdered in 30’s Chicago small-time crook Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) teams with seasoned conman Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) to exact revenge on crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) who ordered the hit. Joining with an odd assortment of colorful associates they formulate a long con to settle the score. Jaunty caper flick was a reuniting for the stars and director of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid ending up being showered with Oscars (7 in total including Best Picture as well as three other nominations) and leading to a jazz revival courtesy of its Scott Joplin musical score.

    Chinatown (1974)-Robert Towne-What he assumes will be a routine infidelity stakeout soon becomes an incredibly complex web of deceit and murder for L.A. private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) when he discovers he was hired by an imposter and is being used as a pawn in a game with deadly stakes. Smart, stylish mystery amassed 11 Oscar nominations but only Towne won for his original screenplay.

    Dog Day Afternoon (1975)-Frank Pierson-Young and desperate Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) and his not terribly bright buddy Sal Naturile (John Cazale) attempt to pull off a bank heist in Brooklyn that quickly goes wrong. Trapped inside with the tellers a standoff, first with NYPD Sgt. Moretti (Charles Durning) and then FBI agent Sheldon (James Broderick) escalates into a media circus leading to a tense conclusion. Forceful, incisive drama garnered six Oscar nominations but again only Pierson actually picked up the award for his screenplay.

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