2018 Oscars Challenge: [18] “The Big Sick” – Best Original Screenplay

“THE BIG SICK”
Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani



Director: Michael Showalter
Producer: Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel
Cinematography: Brian Burgoyne
Editor: Robert Nassau
Composer: Michael Andrews
Distributor: Amazon Studios & Lionsgate
Release Date: June 23, 2017
Run-time: 117 minutes


FILM SYNOPSIS: Kumail, an aspiring comedian from Pakistan, has a fling with Chicago graduate student Emily, and both are surprised when their affection for each other deepens. Kumail is torn between his feelings for Emily and the expectations of his traditional Muslim family, and when Emily falls seriously ill, he must also try to assuage the wariness felt by her parents.


The two categories that are completely stacked this year are Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Original Screenplay, which is absolutely great because that means plenty of worthwhile female driven films are being made as well as original films. “The Big Sick” is definitely that and in being so original, it creates one of the best romantic comedies, not just this year but probably of all-time. Based on Kumail’s real life, the comedy not only comes from the situations these characters are placed in but the amazing actors that bring these lines to life. Like you should with romantic comedies, you pine for the couple to be together and feel every bump along the way. Kumail’s character shines through, likely because he was a co-writer with his real life wife Emily V. Gordon, who was played by Zoe Kazan in the film, and because it’s based on him and his life. He’s a comedian so naturally the comedy of his life shines through. The next best written character is an actress I also feel was robbed this year, Holly Hunter, who plays Emily’s mom. Definitely fitting into the mom theme of the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category, with both front-runners, Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney, playing mothers. And in all honesty, I feel like Hunter has a better performance than both of them, partially because she’s given such a dynamic, outside the box role.

When I say the Best Original Screenplay category is stacked, I mean it’s stacked. The Best Adapted Screenplay category, I couldn’t think of another film I could possibly put in there, while in the original category, all five of the nominees are worth it and I could even come up with a few more than didn’t make the cut (“Phantom Thread” and “The Post” for example). That being said, all of the competitors “The Big Sick” faces have Best Picture nominations to go along with their screenplay nod. This is the lone nomination for “The Big Sick” and unfortunately, it lands in the “lucky to have been nominated” slot. In any other year, I feel like this could have had a shot. But with Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” having just won the Writers Guild and “Lady Bird,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and “The Shape Of Water” being touted as Best Picture front-runners, those all beat out a romantic comedy that only has one nomination. My prediction will likely land with it being a “Get Out” versus “The Shape Of Water” battle and as “The Shape Of Water” will likely grab some major awards along the way, I’m not really predicting “Get Out” to win any, so it winning Best Original Screenplay would be a great way for the film to be honored. Jordan Peele versus Kumail would definitely be a great fight. But the card is stacked and I simply do not see that happening.


PREVIOUS NOMINATIONS

EMILY V. GORDON
NONE
KUMAIL NANJIANI
NONE



AMAZON PRIME

VIEWED: Wednesday,
February 7th, 2018

26

26

Films Left Days Left

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