Jeff Pope


I was disappointed this week when Philomena was not named among the WGA Award nominees. It turns out that it wasn’t eligible (Steve Coogan and/or Jeff Pope must not be in the Writers Guild of America), nor were a number of other noteworthy films (including 12 Years a Slave and Short Term 12), which hopefully followers of the Oscar race are both aware of and share if they’re also entertainment writers. I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and think Philomena is falling behind. After all, it might just be the most original adapted screenplay of the year, and if originality were the primary quality for that category then Philomena would deserve to take home the Academy Award on March 2nd. How exactly adapted works are judged has never been clear, and it doesn’t help when the nominees may include sequels with purely original stories and dialogue, such as this year’s strong contender Before Midnight, as well as any films based on books, TV shows, plays and other films, including shorts by the same filmmakers that were basically like practice runs for the features. When it comes to those based on books, do the voters merit faithfulness or interpretation or clever strays from the source material? It probably isn’t the last, because otherwise past nominees like Adaptation, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and There Will Be Blood would have won for their looseness as adaptations to the point that they almost ought to have been in the original […]

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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