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The Best of the Best Week 11 – Oscar Best Original Screenplay

August 10, 2020 By Cameron Maitland Go Back

Hollywood Suite is rolling out the red carpet for an award-winning film every night at 9pm ET from June 1st to August 31st in an event we’re calling The Best of the Best.

Best Original Screenplay is always an interesting category during awards season because it introduces the unique people behind the year’s best stories, who often come from interesting backgrounds and rarely win the award more than once. This week we look at films that won Best Original Screenplay and the writers behind the hits.

The Crying Game (1992)

Monday, August 10 at 9pm ET on HS90. Available On Demand and on HSGO in August.

Writer/Director Neil Jordan is often associated most with his gothic visual style in films like The Company of Wolves, Interview with The Vampire and The Butcher Boy so it’s interesting his sole Oscar win is for writing this iconic thriller. Though the film’s reputation is permanently stained by transphobic parodies, a rewatch may actually reveal to you the nuance Jordan utilized to tell a story that somehow deals with race, sexuality and Northern Ireland’s Troubles all at once in a way that was especially progressive at the time.

1992 Best Original Screenplay nominees Passion Fish and Husbands and Wives follow at 10:55pm ET on HS90.

Gosford Park (2001)

Tuesday, August 11 at 9pm ET on HS00.

Julian Fellowes may best be known nowadays as the creator of Downton Abbey, but he has quite a fascinating career including this Oscar win for a murder mystery based on an original idea from director Robert Altman and Bob Balaban. Before Gosford Park, Fellowes was mostly known as a character actor, having only adapted a few novels to television, but Altman approached him with the idea of the whodunit because he knew Fellowes understood the intricacies of 1930s British society and the inner workings of a big British country house, and those two subjects have remained key to much of his famous work.

Breaking Away (1979)

Wednesday, August 12 at 9pm ET on HS70. Available On Demand and on HSGO in August.

Mostly known as a playwright, Steve Tesich isn’t much of a household name, but his Oscar win for the coming-of-age classic Breaking Away made his career. Though the film was heavily based on Tesich’s time at Indiana University, he wasn’t a one-hit-wonder with high profile scripts for Eyewitness (1981), another cycling classic American Flyers (1985), and most notably for adapting the notoriously tricky novel The World According to Garp (1982).

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

Thursday, August 13 at 9pm ET on HS00.

Eccentric screenwriter Charlie Kaufman won his only Oscar for this twisting science fiction tale based on a concept from director Michel Gondry and his artist friend Pierre Bismuth. Interestingly, Kaufman tried to abandon the screenplay many times fearing it was too similar to Christopher Nolan’s Memento, but his many breaks resulted in increased attention for his work after producing hit scripts like Confession of a Dangerous Mind and Oscar nominee Adaptation while he procrastinated.

Almost Famous (2000)

Friday, August 14 at 9pm ET on HS00. Available On Demand and on HSGO in August.

Cameron Crowe took home his single Oscar for a film based on his own experiences as a young man writing for Rolling Stone magazine. Interestingly, Cameron Crowe’s first screenplay Fast Times At Ridgemont High was also based on a bit of reporting as he returned to high school posing as a student at 22 years old to get research to inspire the script.

2000 Best Original Screenplay nominee You Can Count on Me follows at 11:05pm ET on HS00.

Ghost (1990)

Friday, August 14 at 9pm ET on HS90. Available On Demand and on HSGO in August.

Bruce Joel Rubin is also a name you may not know, although many of his films were hits and he actually attended NYU with Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma in the 60s. Though he had a few credits before, it wasn’t until his twin hits Ghost (which even the studio didn’t believe in) and Jacob’s Ladder propelled him to the Oscars and fame that he finally got into Hollywood meetings for projects like Deep Impact (1998), which was written almost 30 years prior to its release.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Friday, August 14 at 9pm ET on HS70. Available On Demand and on HSGO in August.

Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett and D.M. Marshman took home Oscar gold for this classic tale of how Hollywood beats you down. As a part of Hollywood history it’s also the last script collaboration between Wilder and Brackett, who had long been a go-to team in Hollywood, and whose sudden and finite breakup remains a curiosity to this day.


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