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Best Original Screenplay: "Frances Ha"
When I first reviewed "Frances Ha" after its premiere at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival, I noted that Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach's dramedy could benefit at the box office from awards recognition and in this category in particular. Unfortunately, IFC Films, which acquired the film, decided to push the black and white indie to a less competitive Spring release. Thankfully, the film's merits still speak for themselves. Gerwig and Baumbach's screenplay marvelously chronicles the downfall of our heroine, Frances, a twentysomething modern dancer trying to gain some solid footing in the competitive and expensive confines of New York City. It's a wonderful mirror to Lena Dunham's "Girls" because it's as contemporary, but from a viewpoint that's completely different at the same time. Moreover, at this date, Frances is the most well drawn character I've seen on the screen in 2013 (even if I first saw her in 2012). Whether the writers branch remembers this impressive feat come awards season remains to be seen.
- Gregory Ellwood