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.
Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.