Three big omissions from their writer-directors loom large in the Original Screenplay category for 2004: Bill Condon's Kinsey ; Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education and Joshua Marsden's Maria Full of Grace. All three were better written than any of the nominee,s although The Aviator gets points for its complexity; Hotel Rwanda for its handling of tough material and Vera Drake for being one of Mike Leigh's tightest scripts. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind gets points for its originality though I thought it was terribly over-rated even if it did steam-roller its way through awards season. The Incredibles was a clever cartoon, but a cartoon nevertheless. Still, it was a better choice than the WGA's pick of Zach Braff's Garden State, the only one of the five Oscar passed on.
Kinsey would get my vote if were nominated. Of the actual nominees, I think I'll vote for the cartoon in protest over the likely poll winner, everyone else's Spotless favorite.
There were two overall better films than Kinsey this year. I have a slight preference for Million Dollar Baby for Best Film, but Sideways has the best written script hands down. This was Alexander Payne (with Jim Taylor) at his best. No need to look any further, though Before Sunset and The Motorcycle Diaries are certainly worthy also-rans. Oscar and the WGA agreed on all four nominees with the WGA picking Tina Fey's Mean Girls over David Magee's Finding Neverland. There isn't much about Mean Girls I remember, but although Finding Neverland is disappointing overall, the script isn't really one of its problems. It's an OK fifth nominee in a year without a lot of other options.
1998 through 2007
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