Read This Now: 2016 Oscar Nominated Screenplays


It’s the most wonderful time of year for the film industry: award season. But, it’s a great time for those who study film – especially screenwriting.

One of the nuggets of advice professionals in the industry always reiterate is, “Read, Read. Read!” For those interested in screenwriting now your chance to read the scripts. Legally!

Below are nine of the ten Oscar contending screenplays. As one of my undergraduate professors put it, “Read them, or just keep pretending.”

Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies

In the shadow of war, one man showed the world what we stand for.

During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Ex Machina

To erase the line between man and machine is to obscure the line between men and gods.

A young programmer is selected to participate in a groundbreaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.

Meet the little voices inside your head.

After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

Break the story. Break the silence.

The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

The world’s most dangerous times created the world’s most dangerous group.

The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Adapted Screenplay

Big Short, The

This is a true story.

Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.

Brooklyn

Two countries, two loves, one heart.

An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

Carol

Some people change your life forever.

An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman.

Martian, The (Not Available!)

Help is only 140 million miles away.

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Room

Love knows no boundaries.

After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.

Sadly, I have only watched three of the ten films nominated for screenwriting this year (The Martian isn’t available for reading online). But, definitely on my watch list in the next couple of months are Room and Carol.