Oscars: The Best Lines From This Year's Original Screenplay Nominees
It's a who's who of the scribes who penned some of 2014's best dialogue, in their own (characters') words.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Birdman: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Armando Bo
Riggan: "I never should have videotaped Sam's birth — first of all, because you and Sam both look like shit in that video, but mostly because I missed the moment. I should have just been there with the two of you. Present in my own life. So I'd have it. But I don't. I don't have any of it."
Two of Birdman's writers live in Buenos Aires, one in New York City, and one in L.A. (director Inarritu), but they all collaborated on Michael Keaton's dialogue and the other words in the script via Skype sessions and long-distance conference calls.
Boyhood: Richard Linklater
Mason: "Dad? There's no, like … real magic in the world, right?
Dad: "Well, I don't know. I mean what makes you think that, that elves are any more magical than something like … like a whale? You know, I mean, what if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs, and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car, and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you'd think that's pretty magical, right?"
Linklater had an outline when he began his 12-year production but met with actors yearly for updates on their lives.
Foxcatcher: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Du Pont: "May I speak frankly? I'm concerned. I'm concerned by what I see in these United States. Athletes labor to bring honor to America, and America fails to honor that labor — fails to honor it and fails to support it."
Frye, who began his career with the 1986 rom-com Something Wild, wrote the first draft, but the second was written by director Bennett Miller's childhood friend Dan Futterman (who was nominated in 2005 for Miller's Capote).
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson; Story by Anderson, Hugo Guinness
M. Gustave: "You see? There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed, that's what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant way."
Anderson — who has received three previous screenwriting Oscar noms for The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom — considers his latest a period picture that's "also a Euro movie."
Nightcrawler: Dan Gilroy
Detective Fronteiri: "You filmed him dying."
Lou Bloom: "That's my job; that's what I do. I like to say if you're seeing me you're having the worst day of your life."
Gilroy — who made his directorial debut with Nightcrawler — had written six previous screenplays (including Two for the Money, Real Steel and The Bourne Legacy) and a TV series (City of Light) before taking on this story of a twisted crime photographer.