Directed by Sam Mendes
Written by Alan Ball
Starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper, Mena Suvari, Allison Janney, Peter Gallagher and Scott Bakula
I love American Beauty and couldn’t be more pleased it was chosen as Best Picture, especially since it represents the one time in the last fifteen years where the Academy was really tempted to hang it’s hat on another picture – one that was less abrasive, less divisive, had less murder, drugs, Lolita storylines, and infidelity – and chose instead to honor the more challenging film. Continue reading
In the movie Adaptation a fictionalized-Charlie Kaufman, attends a screenwriting seminar by a fictionalized-Robert McKee, the noted screenwriting guru and author of the book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting. At the seminar, in the middle of a batch of voice-over, McKee castigates his group of would-be screenwriters, in a delicious bit of irony, to avoid voice-overs in their work as it smacks of narrative weakness.
Though this was intended only for its ironic effect I couldn’t help but think that maybe McKee had missed a real narrative weakness, one that I’m beginning to wish was eradicated completely from the filmmaking process, which is the over-reliance of modern filmmakers on the twist ending.