The Best Original Screenplay is one of the most prestigious awards given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the annual Oscars ceremony.

It recognizes the best achievement in screenwriting for a screenplay that was written directly for the screen and not based on previously published material.

Best Original Screenplay Winners

The award was first presented in 1940, and since then, it has become one of the most highly sought-after honors in the film industry.

Over the years, the Best Original Screenplay category has seen many outstanding and groundbreaking films, with writers bringing their unique visions and voices to the screen.

Some of the most celebrated films of all time, such as “Annie Hall,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Get Out,” have won this award, showcasing the power of storytelling and the creativity of the writers behind them.

In this series of articles, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most memorable winners of the Best Original Screenplay award, exploring what made them stand out and examining their impact on the film industry.

Best Original Screenplay Winners

2021: Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman”

2020: Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won for “Parasite”

2019: Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, and Nick Vallelonga for “Green Book”

2018: Jordan Peele for “Get Out”

2017: Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea”

2016: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for “Spotlight”

2015: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo for “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

2014: Spike Jonze for “Her”

2013: Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”

   

2012: Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris”

Note that the Academy Awards ceremony usually takes place early in the year following the year in which the films were released.

1. The Usual Suspects (1995)

“The Usual Suspects” is a neo-noir crime thriller film released in 1995, directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie.

The movie tells the story of a group of criminals who are brought together for a job that goes awry, and their subsequent interrogation by a police officer looking to solve a larger crime.

The film stars Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint, a small-time criminal with a talent for storytelling, and the only survivor of the botched heist.

The other members of the group are played by Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro, and Kevin Pollak.

The movie is known for its intricate plot, nonlinear storytelling, and surprise ending. It won two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Screenplay for McQuarrie and one for Best Supporting Actor for Spacey.

It has since become a classic of the crime genre and is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of the 1990s.

The Usual Suspects
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri (Actors)
  • Bryan Singer (Director) - Christopher McQuarrie (Writer) - Michael McDonnell (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

2. Good Will Hunting (1997)

“Good Will Hunting” is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The film stars Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, and Stellan Skarsgård in prominent roles.

“Good Will Hunting” tells the story of Will Hunting, a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who is a self-taught mathematical genius but struggles with personal and emotional issues.

The film revolves around Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, who is a troubled young man from South Boston with a history of abusive relationships and run-ins with the law.

Despite his troubled past, Will possesses a remarkable talent for mathematics, which is discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau, played by Stellan Skarsgård, when Will anonymously solves a complex mathematical problem posted at MIT.

As Professor Lambeau attempts to help Will channel his talent and turn his life around, Will forms an unlikely bond with his therapist, Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams.

Through their sessions, Sean helps Will confront his emotional scars, including the trauma of his abusive childhood, and come to terms with his identity and purpose in life.

Along the way, Will also falls in love with Skylar, played by Minnie Driver, and grapples with the fear of intimacy and vulnerability.

“Good Will Hunting” is a poignant exploration of human emotions, relationships, and self-discovery. The film received critical acclaim for its performances, particularly that of Robin Williams, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Sean Maguire.

The film also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, which was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. “Good Will Hunting” is often remembered for its touching story, well-drawn characters, and powerful performances that continue to captivate audiences today.

Good Will Hunting
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck (Actors)
  • Gus Van Sant (Director) - Lawrence Bender (Writer) - Casey Affleck (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sunset Boulevard is a classic American film noir directed by Billy Wilder and released in 1950. The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, a struggling Hollywood screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star who dreams of making a comeback.

The story begins with Joe Gillis, who is down on his luck and trying to avoid creditors, stumbling upon the decaying mansion of Norma Desmond.

Norma, who is desperately clinging to her past glory, hires Joe to rewrite her screenplay for a grand comeback. As Joe becomes increasingly entangled in Norma’s delusions, he realizes that she is not the glamorous Hollywood star she once was, and that her grip on reality is tenuous at best.

   

The film is notable for its dark themes and trenchant commentary on the Hollywood system, as well as its iconic performances by Holden and Swanson.

It received 11 Academy Award nominations and won three, including Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Original Score. Sunset Boulevard has since become a cultural touchstone and is widely regarded as one of the greatest American films ever made.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Various (Actor)
  • Various (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

4. Network (1976)

“Network” is a satirical film directed by Sidney Lumet and released in 1976. The film explores the world of television news and the influence of corporate media on public opinion.

The plot revolves around Howard Beale, a longtime news anchor who is fired due to poor ratings. Beale subsequently goes on a rant during a live broadcast, stating that he will commit suicide on the air.

The outburst results in a surge of interest in Beale and his program, leading the network to keep him on the air despite his increasingly erratic behavior.

The film touches on themes such as the commodification of news, the blurring of entertainment and news, and the influence of corporate interests on media.

The film was well-received critically and won several Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peter Finch’s portrayal of Howard Beale.

The film’s most famous line, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” has become a cultural touchstone.

Network
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch (Actors)
  • Sidney Lumet (Director) - Paddy Chayefsky (Writer) - Howard Gottfried (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Annie Hall (1977)

“Annie Hall” is a critically acclaimed American romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen, released in 1977.

Allen co-wrote the screenplay with Marshall Brickman and also starred in the film as the main character, Alvy Singer. Diane Keaton played the role of Annie Hall, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

The film follows the ups and downs of the relationship between Alvy Singer, a neurotic comedian, and Annie Hall, a quirky aspiring singer.

The story is told through a series of flashbacks and nonlinear narrative, as Alvy reflects on his failed relationship with Annie and tries to make sense of it.

The film touches on various themes such as love, relationships, identity, and the human condition, while incorporating Allen’s trademark wit and humor.

“Annie Hall” is known for its innovative storytelling techniques, including breaking the fourth wall and using split screens to convey the inner thoughts and anxieties of the characters.

It also features memorable performances by Allen and Keaton, who had great chemistry on screen, and their performances were widely praised by critics.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director for Allen, Best Actress for Keaton, and Best Original Screenplay for Allen and Brickman.

It has been regarded as one of the best romantic comedies of all time and has had a lasting impact on popular culture. Its influence can be seen in subsequent films and TV shows, and it remains a beloved classic in American cinema.

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6. Citizen Kane (1941)

“Citizen Kane” is a 1941 film directed by Orson Welles, who co-wrote the screenplay with Herman J. Mankiewicz. The film is widely regarded as a cinematic masterpiece and is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

The film tells the story of the life of Charles Foster Kane, a wealthy and powerful newspaper magnate, through a series of flashbacks following his death. The screenplay is notable for its innovative structure, as well as its use of non-linear narrative and multiple perspectives.

One of the most famous aspects of “Citizen Kane” is its portrayal of the character of Kane himself. The film explores the complexity of his personality, showing him as both a charismatic and visionary leader, as well as a flawed and often cruel individual.

The screenplay also delves into themes such as the corrupting influence of power and wealth, the nature of truth and identity, and the consequences of ambition.

“Citizen Kane” won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1942, marking the only Oscar win for the film despite its critical acclaim.

The film’s innovative use of storytelling techniques and its exploration of complex themes have made it a timeless classic that continues to influence filmmakers to this day.

Citizen Kane (70th Anniversary)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore (Actors)
  • Orson Welles (Director) - Orson Welles (Writer) - Orson Welles (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. Chinatown (1974)

“Chinatown” is a classic American neo-noir film directed by Roman Polanski and released in 1974. The movie stars Jack Nicholson as private investigator J.J. “Jake” Gittes, who is hired by a woman claiming to be Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband’s infidelity.

However, Gittes quickly finds himself embroiled in a web of corruption, greed, and murder in 1930s Los Angeles.

The film is known for its complex and twisted plot, stunning cinematography, and iconic performances by Nicholson and Dunaway. The screenplay was written by Robert Towne and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1975.

The movie was also nominated for ten other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Nicholson), and Best Actress (Dunaway).

“Chinatown” is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in the history of American cinema and has had a significant impact on the neo-noir genre.

Chinatown
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Nicholson, John Huston, Darrell Zwerling (Actors)
  • Roman Polanski (Director) - Robert Towne (Writer) - Robert Evans (Producer)
  • Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish (Playback Languages)
  • Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish (Subtitles)

8. Almost Famous (2000)

“Almost Famous” is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film released in 2000, written and directed by Cameron Crowe. The movie is loosely based on Crowe’s own experiences as a teenage music journalist for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s.

The film follows the story of William Miller (played by Patrick Fugit), a high school student who lands a job as a writer for Rolling Stone and is assigned to go on tour with the up-and-coming band Stillwater.

Along the way, William becomes enamored with the band’s charismatic lead singer, Russell Hammond (played by Billy Crudup), and develops a close friendship with one of the band’s groupies, Penny Lane (played by Kate Hudson).

The movie is notable for its authentic depiction of the rock music scene in the 1970s and its portrayal of the relationships between musicians, journalists, and fans.

It was well-received by critics and audiences alike and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It has since become a cult classic and is widely regarded as one of the best movies about the rock music scene.

Almost Famous
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Billly Crudup, Frances McDormand (Actors)
  • Cameron Crowe (Director) - Cameron Crowe (Writer) - Ian Bryce (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

9. Pulp Fiction (1994)

“Pulp Fiction” is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino, known for his distinctive nonlinear storytelling and unique style. The film features an ensemble cast including John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and many others. “Pulp Fiction” is known for its dark humor, eclectic soundtrack, and unconventional narrative structure.

The film follows multiple storylines that intersect and intertwine in a non-chronological order, creating a mosaic of interconnected events.

The main characters include Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta, and Jules Winnfield, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

who are hitmen working for a mob boss named Marsellus Wallace, played by Ving Rhames. They are tasked with retrieving a mysterious briefcase that is desired by various parties.

Throughout the film, the characters encounter a wide array of eccentric and colorful personalities, including Mia Wallace, played by Uma Thurman, a femme fatale and Marsellus’ wife; Butch Coolidge, played by Bruce Willis, a boxer who gets caught up in a series of unexpected events; and a pair of small-time crooks, played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer, among others.

“Pulp Fiction” is known for its witty and memorable dialogue, its graphic violence, and its nonlinear structure that weaves together seemingly unrelated events.

The film explores themes such as morality, redemption, and the consequences of one’s actions. It also features Tarantino’s trademark pop culture references and homages to various film genres, including crime, pulp fiction, and neo-noir.

Upon its release, “Pulp Fiction” was widely praised for its groundbreaking storytelling, bold style, and unique characters.

It won the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and was a critical and commercial success. It has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the most influential films of the 1990s, leaving a lasting impact on popular culture and inspiring a generation of filmmakers.

Pulp Fiction
  • John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson (Actors)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Director) - Quentin Tarantino (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

10. The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment is a classic American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder and released in 1960.

The film stars Jack Lemmon as C.C. Baxter, a low-level insurance clerk who lends his apartment to his bosses for their extramarital affairs in the hopes of advancing his career.

However, Baxter’s plan backfires when he falls in love with the elevator operator, Fran Kubelik, played by Shirley MacLaine, who is having an affair with one of Baxter’s bosses.

The film explores themes of love, ambition, and morality in a corporate setting, as Baxter navigates his complicated relationship with Fran while trying to navigate the cutthroat world of business.

The film is notable for its witty screenplay and charismatic performances by Lemmon and MacLaine, as well as its portrayal of the struggles faced by working-class individuals in postwar America.

The Apartment was a critical and commercial success, receiving 10 Academy Award nominations and winning five, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

The film has since become a beloved classic, widely regarded as one of the greatest American films ever made.

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The Apartment
  • Directed by the legendary Billy Wilder
  • Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

11. On the Waterfront (1954)

“On the Waterfront” is a classic American drama film released in 1954, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, and Lee J. Cobb. The film explores the world of organized crime and corruption on the New York City waterfront.

The plot follows Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), a former boxer who works as a longshoreman on the docks.

Malloy becomes embroiled in a conflict between his corrupt union boss, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb), and a group of workers who want to stand up to the corrupt practices that are prevalent on the waterfront.

Malloy must confront his own complicity in the corruption and decide whether to join the fight against it.

The film deals with themes of individual morality, social responsibility, and the struggle between personal interests and the greater good.

It was critically acclaimed upon release and went on to win eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Elia Kazan, and Best Actor for Marlon Brando.

Brando’s performance is often cited as one of the greatest in film history, particularly for his portrayal of Malloy’s inner conflict and vulnerability.

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On the Waterfront (Special Edition)
  • On The Waterfront (Special Edition) - DVD Brand New
  • Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb (Actors)
  • Elia Kazan (Director) - Budd Schulberg (Writer) - Sam Spiegel (Producer)
  • Thai, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, English, Portuguese (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

12. Get Out (2017)

“Get Out” is a highly acclaimed American horror film directed by Jordan Peele and released in 2017.

Peele also wrote the screenplay for the film, which marks his directorial debut. “Get Out” is a social thriller that addresses issues of race and identity, and it has been praised for its unique blend of horror, satire, and social commentary.

The film follows the story of Chris Washington, a young African American man, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who visits the family of his white girlfriend, Rose, played by Allison Williams, for a weekend getaway.

However, Chris soon realizes that the seemingly friendly and liberal environment hides dark and disturbing secrets.

As he uncovers the truth, Chris becomes entangled in a nightmarish situation that challenges his perceptions of reality and race.

“Get Out” has been highly acclaimed for its thought-provoking story, compelling performances, and its sharp critique of racism and societal issues.

It has been praised for its originality and creativity, as Peele masterfully combines horror elements with social commentary, humor, and symbolism.

The film has also been lauded for its exploration of the African American experience, as well as its commentary on cultural appropriation and white supremacy.

“Get Out” was a commercial success, grossing over $250 million worldwide on a budget of just $4.5 million. It received numerous accolades, including four Academy Award nominations and winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, making Jordan Peele the first African American to win in that category.

The film’s impact on popular culture and its significance in addressing important social issues has made it a landmark film in contemporary horror and has cemented Peele’s status as a leading voice in American cinema.

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13. Divorce Italian Style (1962)

“Divorce Italian Style” is a 1962 Italian film directed by Pietro Germi, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Ennio De Concini and Alfredo Giannetti. The film is a black comedy that satirizes the Italian legal system and the social conventions of the time.

The story follows Ferdinando Cefalù, a Sicilian aristocrat who wants to divorce his wife so he can marry his young cousin Angela. However, divorce is illegal in Italy at the time, and Ferdinando hatches a plan to murder his wife and claim that he was driven to it by her infidelity.

The screenplay is notable for its sharp wit and biting humor, as well as its critique of the patriarchal society of Italy in the 1960s.

The film uses exaggerated and absurdist situations to highlight the hypocrisy and absurdity of the legal system and the cultural norms surrounding marriage and infidelity.

“Divorce Italian Style” won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1963, as well as the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film’s success helped to establish Germi as one of Italy’s most important filmmakers, and it remains a classic of Italian cinema to this day.

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Divorce Italian Style (The Criterion Collection) [DVD]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli (Actors)
  • Pietro Germi (Director) - Agenore Incrocci (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

14. Fargo (1996)

“Fargo” is a critically acclaimed black comedy-crime film directed by Joel Coen and released in 1996.

The movie stars Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson, a pregnant police chief investigating a series of homicides in and around Fargo, North Dakota. The film also features William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, and Peter Stormare in supporting roles.

The movie is known for its dark humor, quirky characters, and violence. The screenplay was written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and it won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1997.

The film was also nominated for six other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (McDormand), and Best Supporting Actor (Macy).

“Fargo” has been highly praised by critics and is considered one of the greatest films of the 1990s. It has inspired a television series of the same name, which premiered in 2014 and has been equally acclaimed.

The movie’s legacy has also included the popularization of the Minnesota accent and the phrase “You betcha.”

Fargo
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi (Actors)
  • Joel Coen (Director) - Joel Coen (Writer) - Ethan Coen (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a romantic science-fiction film released in 2004, directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman.

The movie stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as Joel and Clementine, two former lovers who have both undergone a medical procedure to erase all memories of their relationship.

The film explores themes of love, memory, and the nature of identity as Joel, during the process of having his memories erased, begins to relive the moments of his relationship with Clementine and tries to find a way to hold on to them.

The movie is notable for its creative use of surrealism and non-linear storytelling, as well as its performances by Carrey and Winslet. It was well-received by critics and audiences alike and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

It has since become a cult classic and is widely regarded as one of the most original and thought-provoking films of the 2000s.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jim Carrey, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Winslet (Actors)
  • Michel Gondry (Director) - Michel Gondry (Writer) - Steve Golin (Producer)
  • Spanish, English (Playback Language)
  • Spanish, English (Subtitles)

16. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

“Dog Day Afternoon” is a 1975 American crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino, John Cazale, and Charles Durning. The film is based on a true story and tells the story of a botched bank robbery that takes place on a hot summer afternoon in Brooklyn, New York.

The film revolves around Sonny Wortzik, played by Al Pacino, who, along with his partner Sal, played by John Cazale, attempts to rob a bank to finance his partner’s gender reassignment surgery. However, the robbery goes awry, and Sonny finds himself in a tense hostage situation with the police outside the bank.

As the situation unfolds, Sonny becomes a media sensation, and the story captures the attention of the public and the media.

The film portrays the events of the day in a gritty and realistic manner, depicting the desperation, tension, and chaos of the situation.

It delves into the complex psychology of Sonny, who becomes a sympathetic figure despite his criminal actions, as well as the interactions between the hostages, the police, and Sonny’s partner Sal.

“Dog Day Afternoon” is known for its powerful performances, particularly Al Pacino’s portrayal of Sonny, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

The film also received critical acclaim for its direction, screenplay, and social commentary on issues such as media sensationalism, LGBTQ+ rights, and the impact of the Vietnam War on society.

“Dog Day Afternoon” is considered a classic of American cinema and is known for its realistic and intense portrayal of a true story. It remains a compelling and thought-provoking film that explores the complexities of human behavior and the consequences of desperate actions.

Dog Day Afternoon
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning (Actors)
  • Sidney Lumet (Director) - Frank Pierson (Writer) - Martin Bregman (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

17. Manchester By The Sea (2016)

Manchester by the Sea is a drama film directed by Kenneth Lonergan and released in 2016. The film stars Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, a man who becomes the legal guardian of his teenage nephew, Patrick, played by Lucas Hedges, after the sudden death of Lee’s brother.

The film explores themes of grief, family, and redemption as Lee struggles to come to terms with the tragedy that has befallen his family and the responsibilities of being a parent to his nephew.

Through flashbacks, the audience learns about Lee’s tragic past, which has led to his withdrawn and emotionally guarded nature.

Manchester by the Sea was praised for its honest and nuanced portrayal of grief and trauma, as well as its strong performances by the cast, including a powerful turn by Casey Affleck, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role.

The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay at the 89th Academy Awards.

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Manchester By The Sea
  • Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler (Actors)
  • Kenneth Lonergan (Director) - Lauren Beck (Producer)
  • Spanish (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

18. The Producers (1967)

“The Producers” is a comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and released in 1967. The film stars Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder and follows the story of a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer named Max Bialystock and his neurotic accountant, Leo Bloom, who come up with a scheme to make money by producing a sure-fire flop of a musical.

The plan is to raise more money than needed for the production and keep the excess funds after the show closes. However, things don’t go as planned when the musical, titled “Springtime for Hitler,” becomes a surprise hit due to its outrageous and offensive content.

The film satirizes show business and the ethics of the entertainment industry, as well as the darker side of human nature. It features several memorable scenes and songs, including “Springtime for Hitler,” which has become a cultural icon.

“The Producers” was well-received critically and won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film was later adapted into a successful stage musical, which also won multiple Tony Awards.

The Producers
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Zero Mostel, John Zoller, Madelyn Cates (Actors)
  • Mel Brooks (Director) - Mel Brooks (Writer) - Sidney Glazier (Producer)
  • English, German, French (Playback Language)
  • English, German, French (Subtitles)

19. Her (2013)

“Her” is a science fiction romance film written and directed by Spike Jonze, released in 2013.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly, a lonely and introverted man who develops a romantic relationship with an artificial intelligence operating system named Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

“Her” explores themes of love, human connection, and the impact of technology on relationships and society.

Set in a near-future Los Angeles, Theodore is a melancholic writer who finds solace in his interactions with Samantha, an AI that is designed to learn and adapt to his needs.

As Theodore and Samantha’s relationship deepens, he grapples with the complexities of falling in love with an AI, facing challenges and emotions he never anticipated.

The film delves into the nuances of human connection, intimacy, and the blurred boundaries between human and machine.

“Her” has been highly acclaimed for its thought-provoking story, innovative concept, and exceptional performances. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a nuanced and vulnerable portrayal of Theodore, and Scarlett Johansson’s voice performance as Samantha is widely praised.

The film also boasts a visually stunning aesthetic, with its futuristic yet grounded portrayal of a technology-driven world.

“Her” received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Score.

It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, showcasing Jonze’s unique storytelling and writing talents. The film has been recognized for its timely exploration of the human relationship with technology and its impact on modern society.

It has also sparked discussions on the nature of love, the boundaries of human connection, and the ethical implications of AI and technology in our lives.

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20. Lost in Translation (2003)

“Lost in Translation” is a 2003 film written and directed by Sofia Coppola, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film.

The movie stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as two Americans who meet in a Tokyo hotel and form a close, yet platonic, relationship as they navigate their own personal struggles and cultural differences.

The film’s screenplay is praised for its subtle yet emotionally powerful storytelling. Coppola expertly captures the loneliness and disconnect felt by her two main characters as they struggle to communicate with those around them in a foreign country.

The script also explores themes of existential crisis, finding meaning and connection in a modern world that can often feel alienating and overwhelming.

“Lost in Translation” was critically acclaimed upon its release and is considered a classic of independent cinema.

The film’s success also marked a turning point in Coppola’s career, establishing her as a talented writer and director in her own right. The screenplay won numerous awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, and was praised for its originality, sensitivity, and understated beauty.

Lost in Translation
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi (Actors)
  • Sofia Coppola (Director) - Sofia Coppola (Writer) - Fred Roos (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3 Reasons To Watch Best Original Screenplay Winners

Unique and creative stories: Best Original Screenplay winners are recognized for their unique and original storytelling. These films are often praised for their ability to bring fresh and innovative ideas to the screen. Watching these movies can offer a new and exciting perspective on storytelling.

Award-winning writing: Winning the Best Original Screenplay award at the Academy Awards is one of the most prestigious honors a writer can receive.

The award recognizes the exceptional quality of the screenplay, including the plot, characters, dialogue, and overall structure. By watching these movies, you can appreciate and learn from award-winning writing.

Celebrating the art of screenwriting: Screenwriting is a crucial element of filmmaking, and Best Original Screenplay winners celebrate the art of screenwriting.

Watching these movies can offer insight into the creative process of screenwriting, which includes the development of characters, plot, dialogue, and structure. Additionally, these films highlight the importance of storytelling in cinema and demonstrate the power of words in bringing a story to life on screen.

Best Original Screenplay Winners – Wrap Up

The Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay honors the best screenplay that has been written specifically for the film. Here is a wrap-up of some of the recent winners in this category:

2021: Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman”

2020: Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won for “Parasite”

2019: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly for “Green Book”

2018: Jordan Peele for “Get Out”

2017: Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea”

2016: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for “Spotlight”

2015: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo for “Birdman”

2014: Spike Jonze for “Her”

2013: Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”

2012: Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris”

These films represent a diverse range of genres and storytelling styles, and have been recognized for their originality, creativity, and impact on the film industry.

Winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar is a significant achievement for any writer, as it recognizes the importance of the screenplay as the foundation of a great film.