Well, us. And you as well, probably. The University of Southern California chose its annual five for the USC Scripter award, honoring both the original authors and the screenwriters who adapted them. What’s interesting to note is, and this is in part due to the WGA’s myriad of exclusions, is that the nomination today makes Captain Phillips the only film to be nominated by the WGA and USC. That surely solidifies its position in the Adapted Screenplay category. Also showing up is 12 Years A Slave, still the favorite to win the Oscar at this point, and Philomena, which also looks good for a nomination in a week’s time. It will be more of an uphill battle for the fourth nominee, The Spectacular Now, which right now is more of a dark horse.
And then there was Maisie. It’s an inspired pick for sure, and one of the more left-field choices the USC has made in recent year. This will translate to absolutely nothing in terms of Oscar nominations, but it’s always great to see a group go for something that bucks the trend. The fact that it’s source (the Henry James novel) is a prestigious one, but the fact that it is a good adaptation also helps, of course.
One film notably missing is The Wolf Of Wall Street, but someone on our forums remarked that USC both honors the screenwriter and the author, and perhaps they didn’t want to honor Jordan Belfort, whose book the film was adapted from. If you have seen the film, you’ll know why.
“Captain Phillips“: Billy Ray, screenwriter; Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty, authors of “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.”
“Philomena“: Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, screenwriters; Martin Sixsmith, author of “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.”
“The Spectacular Now“: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, screenwriters; Tim Tharp, author of the novel of the same name.
“12 Years a Slave“: John Ridley, screenwriter; Solomon Northup, author of “Twelve Years a Slave.”
“What Maisie Knew“: Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne, screenwriters, who adapted the novel by Henry James.