As we approach this year’s Oscar announcements, it’s a good time to look at what won last year for best original screenplay. THE HURT LOCKER. I never quite understood the title and I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but I am a huge fan of the script and anybody that can beat J. C. out of an award (especially one based on original storytelling) the fact that SHE was his EX really is just icing on the cake (a very delicious one, in my op.) So, how thrilled was I to actually find a valid (legal) link to the full screenplay that I could share!
The 1st 10 pages of last year’s Academy Award winning best screenplay are interesting, because by page 10 we don’t have our whammy yet. In fact, we don’t really know our main characters yet and certainly not our protagonist.
What we do have is a set-up that will serve as the complete opposite to our protagonist. It serves to shape his character by showing the type of character he is not (and never will be). The only other thing the 1st 10 pages does adeptly here is set a microcosm of the world of story we are entering.
There is no doubt this is a war zone, but the focus of this story is so specific we start literally with a zoomed in view of the precise mentality the characters live in. And to the writer’s credit, the opening sequence keeps us reading and not caring if we’ve reached a certain mark by a certain page.
Beyond that, I’d have to get into an entire breakdown of the script, which is not what this post is about. But I encourage you to read it for yourselves, even if it is not your genre; it is a fast read because it is well written. And especially if you write in a fast paced genre, (action, war or otherwise) it is an amazing example of how a story can be character driven by plot and action with very little dialogue — the exact opposite of my pick for 2010’s best screenplay winner, which is coming up next.
Enjoy… THE HURT LOCKER