Read The Oscar Nominated And BAFTA Winning Screenplay Of 'The Artist'

EXCLUSIVE: Last night Jimmy Kimmel asked his guest John Goodman, co-star of the silent awards season darling The Artist, if there was actually a script for the film since it was completely silent. “It must have been four pages,” Kimmel said.  But Goodman corrected him and said it was actually quite impressive and in order to get him to do the role of the studio boss writer/director Michel Hazanavicius actually presented him an elaborate presentation with detailed description and even photos. Kimmel’s initial thought that because it’s silent, it doesn’t have to be written is a fairly common one, except from actual writers who obviously know scripts are not all about how much dialogue you have.  Indeed Hazanavicius’ original screenplay is one of the film’s ten Oscar nominations but because it is perceived as more of a directorial achievement than a written one, it is not currently favored to win by most pundits. Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris is the front runner at both the Oscars and this weekend’s WGA awards (where the French produced The Artist is not eligible). Even Hazanavicius thinks his idol Allen will win. But with its surprising Original Screenplay victory at last Sunday’s BAFTA awards over Allen’s script and others, the possibility arises that perhaps The Artist could pull off an upset in the Oscar writing category too. Best Picture winners more often than not also carry their writers to victory and Artist is heavily favored to take Picture and Director in its Oscar haul February 26.   Campaigners for the film sent the entire script to Academy voters so they could see that it was indeed a fully fleshed out script,   and you can check out the entire screenplay right here in an online exclusive.  If Hazanavicius were to win for his script he would be the first to triumph for a fully silent film since Benjamin Glazer won for his adaptation of 7th Heaven at the first Academy Awards in 1927-28.

    1. A lot of people who don’t understand the filmmaking process think the writer puts down the words and the director brings it life by adding visuals.

      Totally wrong. The visuals originate with the writer and are on the page even if they’re not painstakingly describe in a novelistic way. The writer creates the world of the story and then finds the most visual way of exploiting that world and creates the genre-appropriate set pieces and most importantly determines what the characters are actually DOING (not just saying) during the entire film. I’m not talking blocking, which is a director’s job, I’m talking ACTION.

      The characters’ actions are themselves the core “visuals” of the film and this comes from the writer.

      To people who’ve done neither, writing a script seems straightforward and easy and directing a film seems difficult and complicated. In truth doing either well is extremely difficult, although it is easier to fake your way through directing a film (so many other people are directly contributing along the way) than it is to fake your way through writing a great script, when the writer is on their own (people think their ideas are helping and they’re not).

  1. Ugh when will the backlash of the artist begin? It’s too simplistic and boring to be considered the best picture of the year!!! Wake up academy and reward the best picture of the year and don’t just follow what everyone else votes for

    1. The backlash is well established – this is the backlash to the backlash. Boring? Never. Simplistic? When was it decided that movies had to be complicated to be great?

  2. I assume Jimmy Kimmel was making a joke as he’s a smart guy (and great writer.) But coming up with the premise, the plot, the characters, the tone, the visual gags, the way the story itself is told…. all in the script.

    None of that makes it the best script of the year necessarily, but certainly it should be a contender.

  3. A script has to give the visual flavour of the film, something that’s hard to write and hard to read until you get used to it. The best thing about The Artist is that it’s a film that film fans can suggest to casual film watchers and if they convince them to see it, know they’ll get a kick out of it. I waited for months for it to come out, dragged my beloved to see it, and after 5 minutes of sitting arms folded refusing to enjoy it, she loved it.

  4. I’m a great fan of The Silents; during the transitional period, i.e., 1928 or so, through early thirties it seemed natural to go to talkies, but the Silents are a different art form, and in retrospect, they should have never quit making them. As for scripts, well, a movie is nothing more than a story told by pictures; somebody has to describe the pictures, hence, A SCRIPT IS NEEDED!

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