By Patrick Shanley
With a number of big Golden Globe wins last night, including best director and best dramatic picture for The Revenant, director Alejandro G. Inarritu finds himself once more in the thick of the Oscar hunt. The Mexican-born filmmaker won big last year with three Oscars for his avant garde drama Birdman, which scored him the best original screenplay, best director, and best picture awards.
This year, with the western revenge thriller The Revenant, Inarritu has once more directed a film that he wrote himself, this time adapting the screenplay from the novel by Michael Punke with co-writer Mark L. Smith.
Inarritu is not the only writer/director with films in the race this year, however, as a number of other contenders boast a director who also penned the film’s script. The original screenplay hopefuls include Spotlight (directed and written by Tom McCarthy with co-writer Josh Singer), Inside Out (written and directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen), The Hateful Eight (written and directed by Quentin Tarantino), Ex Machina (written and directed by Alex Garland), Joy (written and directed by David O. Russell), Youth (written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino), 99 Homes (written and directed by Ramin Bahrani), Tangerine (directed by Sean Baker and written with co-writer Chris Bergoch), and Hungary’s official foreign language entry Son of Saul (directed by Laszlo Nemes and co-written by Clara Royer) while in the adapted category The Big Short (written and adapted from Michael Lewis’ book by Adam McKay and co-written with Charles Randolph), Beasts of No Nation (directed and written for the screen by Cary Fukunaga based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala), Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (directed by J.J. Abrams and co-written with Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt based on characters from George Lucas), and the stop-motion animated Anomalisa (written and directed by Charlie Kaufman based on his play).
Writing your own material may just give a director that extra boost with the Academy that ultimately leads to Oscar gold, as you can see in this breakdown of past instances.