Screenplay by Drew Goddard
Based on “The Martian” by Andy Weir
FILM SYNOPSIS: Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead and left behind when an unexpected storm hits Mars, forcing his crewmates to abandon their mission. Watney, a botanist, must engineer ways to feed himself and survive the harsh environment, and after he reestablishes communication with NASA, scientists around the globe race against time to rescue him.
Originally published in 2011, I had the pleasure of reading Andy Weir’s “The Martian” last year and it was definitely worth the read. Filled with science, humor, and bits of a thrilling space odyssey, the book challenges its readers with the formulas and scientific jargon of an astronaut, while rewarding them with one of the most fully realized characters in quite some time. The adaptation of that becomes what to keep in and what to take out, and for the most part, Drew Goddard does a decent job. The character of Mark Watney is perfectly adapted, bringing about the eccentric attitude of the botanist as he navigates his way through surviving on Mars. Obviously things needed to be cut from the story to make it a decently paced film adaptation, but my biggest remark was how certain incidents were drastically changed. The journey from the HAB to the Ares IV site was a little glossed over and the end felt very Hollywood blockbuster. But again, this was to be expected.
What’s its competition? With a Best Picture nomination coinciding with it, “The Martian” has as good a chance as both “Brooklyn” and “Room,” and with the critical acclaim and decent box office numbers, “The Martian” actually probably sits towards the top of the pile. But “The Big Short” almost looks unbeatable in this category. Of the three Best Picture nominees still being considered strong bets, “The Big Short” is one of them, not “The Martian.” Also, “The Big Short” has been winning across the board at other awards ceremonies, something that cannot be said for “The Martian” and its screenplay.
Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for Drew Goddard.
“The Martian” (2015) Writer Interview:
// Produced by Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Aditya Sood, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam // Directed by Ridley Scott //
// Dated Viewed: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 // BLU-RAY // 18 films – 26 days //