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Oscar Watch: Check Out Online Screenplays for 'Amour,' 'Moonrise Kingdom,' 'This is 40'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 5, 2012 at 1:58PM

"It starts with the script" is an old chestnut which just happens to be true. I get a kick out of talking to actors, directors and studio heads, but by far my favorite conversations are with such writers as Michael Arndt or Tony Kushner. These people are smart! Years ago after interviewing the Coens for "Raising Arizona," I abandoned my fledgling efforts at screenwriting. I could never be that good.
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Amour, still
'Amour'

"It starts with the script" is an old chestnut which just happens to be true. I get a kick out of talking to actors, directors and studio heads, but by far my favorite conversations are with such writers as Michael Arndt or Tony Kushner. These people are smart! Years ago after interviewing the Coens for "Raising Arizona," I abandoned my fledgling efforts at screenwriting. I could never be that good.

One of the new tools in the Oscar campaign arsenal is the internet. Some studios are putting screenplays up online for easy reading access. You can check out at least ten of the competitors for original screenplay. Universal posts "This is 40" by Judd Apatow,  among others, while Sony Pictures Classics boasts "Amour" by Michael Haneke and "Smashed" by James Ponsoldt and Susan Burke, Lionsgate/Summit has "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky as well as "Arbitrage," by Nicholas Jarecki, and Focus Features offers several including  "Moonrise Kingdom," by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola.

A guide to all 2012 Oscar screenplays released so far is here.

Other scripts are being delivered to awards voters as bound paperbacks, including so far: Paramount's "Flight," an original by John Gatins, as well as Warner Bros. adapted scripts "Argo," by Chris Terrio and "The Dark Knight Rises" by Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, and Fox Searchlight's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," by Ol Parker, "The Sessions" by Ben Lewin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, and "HItchcock" by John J. McLaughlin.

The one full-size hardcover book is Tony Kushner's adapted screenplay for "Lincoln," from Disney/DreamWorks.

"This is 40" is also available for order on Amazon from Newmarket Press, complete with an introduction by "Girls" creator Lena Dunham and Apatow's answers to "Five Obvious Questions" and an afterword on his writing process. More Oscar season scripts and tie-ins will be coming from Newmarket down the pike.

EW has the 2011 nominated screenplays here. SimplyScripts collects past Oscar winners here. And I call out the frontrunners in each category in my Oscar chart here. 

This article is related to: Features, Michael Haneke, Christopher Nolan, Amour, The Dark Knight Rises, Awards, Awards, Oscars, Stuck In Love, Judd Apatow, This Is 40, Lincoln, Flight


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.