Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Screenplay, 2008

Synecdoche, New York- Charlie Kaufman (116 points/17 votes)

"The screenplay for Synecdoche, New York by Charlie Kaufman is an almost impossibly ambitious, spaciously sprawling and cerebrally impassioned piece of work. What may most exceptionally distinguish it is Kaufman's fidelity to his own overarching vision, and that is especially crucial to an enterprise in which he is not only creator of the battle plan but commanding general. Kaufman's screenplay displays the kind of visionary foresight that a screenwriter-director must possess. The screenplay's early emphasis on bright sunniness, and a seasonal atmosphere of relative pleasantness, connoting a wistful liveliness is gradually smothered by starkly gray interiors and overcast chilliness with the implacable approach of death. Thus Kaufman's visual prowess as a first-time director is buttressed by his astonishingly complex but narratively sound screenplay.

"Kaleidoscopic and potentially confounding, Kaufman's screenplay is, like his previous stupefying yarns, anchored by his sincere interest in people. Philip Seymour Hoffman's Caden Cotard is an artist set on an intellectual and emotional journey that essays the the very question, “What is the meaning of life?” Kaufman's sensitivity and sentiment have always been tempered by the disenchantment that so often imbues the odyssey of life with despondency. With Synecdoche, New York, he makes the morbid mordant, and the melancholic mirthful. That does not diminish the sadness at the film's heart, but it does make the entire experience more gracefully bewitching. And this screenplay is proof that Kaufman is still growing, by leaps and bounds, as an artist himself. " ~ Alexander Coleman

In Bruges- Martin McDonagh (110/18)
Burn After Reading- Joel and Ethan Coen (101/17)
Rachel Getting Married- Jenny Lumet (94/15)
WALL*E- Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon, from a story by Stanton and Pete Docter (92/15)

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Andrew Bemis said...

Hooray! I was beginning to fear Synecdoche would be shut out.

Bryan Whitefield said...

I'm in utter disbelief that anyone voted for "VCB" or "Redbelt".

Bryan Whitefield said...

Does anyone else think that "Burn After Reading" is the worst script the Coens ever wrote? And I'm a fan...

Dewa said...

this is great ^_^