Best Of 2022: Top 10 Original Screenplays

I know it’s been a minute since one of these, but I am still using this gap leading up to the Oscars to try and see every single film possible, and the few I think I might still see I’m certain fall under Adapted Screenplay. So, here are my top 10. I would definitely make guild voting fun, but at the same time, four of the five Oscar nominees are in my top 10. So am I really that radical?

10) A Love Song

9) Good Luck To You Leo Grande

8) The Menu

7) The outfit

6) Babylon

5) Tar

4) Vengeance

3) Everything Everywhere All At Once

2) The Fablemans

1) The Banshees Of Inisherin

This is a category where there’s “Original” and there’s “Screenplay”, and sometimes finding the winner is finding the film that puts both of those two things together. Yes, no Triangle Of Sadness. In the battle for “Eat The Rich”, I really thought The Menu did it better, but also, Neon did not provide audio description for Triangle Of Sadness. Only one film on this list made it without audio description, and that’s BJ Novak’s crackling genre bending biting screenplay for vengeance. Novak is such a great writer, coming up almost like the possible new Aaron Sorkin. A writer who is interested in making smart movies, about something, with scripts that pop.

But, Everything Everywhere, if this was just an award based on originality, would win. It’s a winning concept full of bonkers original moments that feel like you’re certain they’ve never happened before, which is a rare feat to pull off. however, I’m not sure it’s the Best Screenplay. Like, if I didn’t split Original with Adapted, I think it would drop even more than third place. On the other side, Spielberg’s The Fablemans is a great screenplay. No one will ever say Tony Kushner can’t write, and adding Spielberg to the mix gave it the exact feeling it needed to convince us that this kid has only ever wanted to share the magic of cinema with others. Spielberg knows that feeling himself, as you can see in even his earliest interviews. And as someone who also has had their life seemingly revolving around movies as long as i can literally remember, The Fablemans felt like it was telling my truth.

But one screenplay told a truth, and also found a way to do it in a way that felt original. Banshees, Martin McDonagh’s script, took this simple premise of ending a friendship, something many of us have experienced, and put it right center stage for all to see. Then, he went and made it dark, and enriched his setting by putting us in his homeland in the middle of the Irish civil war, almost giving us a history lesson in the process. his dialogue was great, the film created and shaped well rounded characters and storylines, and it kept going in a direction you were not expecting. That kept it original.

Everything Everywhere all At Once might have been the most original, The Fablemans might have had the heart to make it the best screenplay, but the true merger of hearing the word original and Screenplay this year put together was The Banshees Of inisherin.

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