10 Movies Like Silver Linings Playbook

February 13, 2013 at 2:58 am

10 Movies Like Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook was one of the best movies of 2012.  It’s just a shame I didn’t get a chance to see it early enough to include it in my final 2012 movie rankings. Regardless, there is already a place reserved for the Blu Ray when it’s released.  Right next to the movies mentioned below.  Emotional dramas.  Character driven stories.  Human tales.  Highly entertaining movies that blend romance with personal growth seamlessly.

Movies that won the critical praise of fans and the Academy.  Silver Linings Playbook is nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture.  Combined the 10 films below share 52 Oscar Nominations and 15 wins.  7 out of 10 were nominated for Best Picture.

Odds are, one or two of your personal favorites are among these films if you loved Silver Linings Playbook.  Basically what I’m trying to say is…  It’s one of my favorite shelves.

HONORABLE MENTION: The Pursuit of Happyness, Juno, Stranger Than Fiction, The Blind Side


Equal parts funny and tragic.  This true story is full of moments that touch your heart.

The 71st Academy Awards:

Nominated for: Best Original Musical or Comedy Score


Cameron Crowe made a career out of making movies like Silver Linings Playbook.  They aren’t all mega hits but there are two that I adore and Almost Famous is one of them.

The 73rd Academy Awards:

  • Best Original Screenplay

Nominated for: Best Supporting Actress (x2), Best Film Editing


From a screenwriting perspective, this movie really hit home when I saw it.  I love the tone of the film and the way it’s paced.  I’ve been developing a script for a little less than a year I describe as ‘my Garden State’.  Seems a bit odd to call it that on a list full of Oscar winners but I loved this movie.


Another man who makes his living writing movies like Silver Linings Playbook is Alexander Payne.

The 84th Academy Awards:

  • Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Editing


Alexander Payne again.

“I am NOT drinking any f@$king merlot!”

XTRA | All Time Best: ‘Why so angry’ movie moment

The 77th Academy Awards:

  • Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress


A charming tale from Sophia Coppola.

The 76th Academy Awards:

  • Best Original Screenplay

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director


One of Jack Nicholson’s finest performances also happens to be one of Helen Hunt’s as well.  Both come together in a brilliant story about love and the inspiration it ignites.

The 70th Academy Awards:

  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay


Cameron Crowe again.  When it comes to writing great characters, Mr. Crowe has the quan.

The 69th Academy Awards:

  • Best Supporting Actor

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay


Easily one of the best dramas of all time.  Forrest Gump simultaneously captures your imagination and your heart as you follow him on an unbelievable journey.

The 67th Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Actor
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated for: Best Supporting Actor, Art Direction, Cinematography, Makeup, Original Music Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing


Gus Van Sant.  Another phenomenal director who creates fantastic dramas.  Good Will Hunting continually inspires the screenwriter in me whenever I see it.  (Which is at least twice a year.  At least.)

XTRA | Movies That Changed Everything: Good Will Hunting

The 70th Academy Awards:

  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Original Screenplay

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing, Original Music Score, Best Song

Click here for more 10 Flicks Movie Lists

10 Flicks: Best Original Screenplay Oscar Losers

February 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

10 Flicks: Screenwriting Oscar Losers | Movie Blog | Academy Awards

Best Original Screenplay.

My favorite Oscar category.  The award every screenwriter aspires to win someday.  Like any Oscar category there will always be losers who deserved their nomination but didn’t quite get there.

Here are the Top 10 Best Original Screenplay Losers:

Inglourious Basterds

by Quentin Tarantino

LOST TO: The Hurt Locker by Mark Boal


by Randall Wallace

LOST TO: The Usual Suspects by Christopher McQuarrie

Monster’s Ball

by Milo Addica and Will Rokos

LOST TO: Gosford Park Julian Fellowes


by David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson

LOST TO: Almost Famous by Cameron Crowe

In Bruges

by Martin McDonagh

LOST TO: Milt by Dustin Lance Black

Finding Nemo

by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds

LOST TO: Lost In Translation by Sofia Coppola

Pan’s Labyrinth

by Guillermo del Toro

LOST TO: Little Miss Sunshine – Michael Arndt

XTRA | Movies That Changed Everything


by David Peoples

LOST TO: The Crying Game by Neil Jordan

As Good As It Gets

by Mark Andrus (story and screenplay) and James L. Brooks

LOST TO: Good Will Hunting by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck


by Sylvester Stallone

LOST TO: Network by Paddy Chayefsky


March 8, 2011 at 9:13 am

Single Location Movies: Buried vs 127 Hours | Movie Blog | Editing Blog


A while back, I reviewed 127 Hours and how much I loved the editing.  As a professional editor it made me think about how to be better and more creative when I’m at work.  It doesn’t get much more inspiring than that.

A reader then challenged me to watch Buried and compare the two.

The basic complaint was that, given the genre, Danny Boyle’s film “had it easy with all his editing techniques, trippy sequences, and flashbacks.”

When it comes to single location movies featuring one character, you really do face challenges to keep it from becoming stale and boring.  In that sense, I think that 127 Hours did a fantastic job inter cutting between different sequences to keep the story moving.  On the other hand, a film like Buried managed to pull it off while staying in a six foot box the entire length of the film.  In that sense, the reader is completely right.  It takes a lot of creativity to create a feature film in such a confined location.

Which film is better?

I’ve created a formula to describe how I feel about both films:

Different filmmakers + Different approaches = We win either way.

However, someone has to officially win I suppose.  So let’s take a closer look.

127 Hours

Click here to read my 127 Hours review.

The Editing

Buried vs 127 Hours  An Editor's Perspective | Movie Blog

Editor Jon Harris did a fantastic job employing numerous styles and pacing techniques to pull off Danny Boyle’s vision.  It can be pretty difficult to mix jump cuts, speed changes, split screens while cutting between hand held and steady shots.  Not to mention cutting back and forth between Aron’s camera and ‘our’ camera.

When you factor in all those techniques there were virtually 12.9 billion different decisions that could have been made. (approx.)  When you have the ability to edit freely using so many tools it could have been a complete mess that was difficult to follow but they definitely got it right.  It takes an incredible amount of skill and precision to pull that style off.

It’s so easy to get caught up when you are editing a fast paced movie like that.  It’s also easy to second guess yourself.  Their instincts were bang on as the movie runs at a blistering pace.  Something the Academy recognized with an Oscar nomination this year.

I’ve never seen pain conveyed so well using clever editing techniques knowing just when to cut away during the final ‘arm’ scene.  It was brilliant.  It was inspiring.

The Story

I loved 127 Hours.  It’s a fascinating true story featuring an awesome performance by James Franco.

Director Danny Boyle made an important decision early on not to stay in one location the entire film.  I think it was necessary in this case to get a better glimpse into Aron’s life.  How do we get into his mind and see the relationships he has with the people he cares about without flashbacks?  He doesn’t have a phone or any other outlet into the outside world.  We need to see who he misses and what he regrets.  That’s the spine of the movie buried deep within one of the most courageous stories you’ll ever see.

He only has a camera to speak into and that can lead to a lot of clumsy exposition that borders on boring.  Here James Franco’s character escapes to a happier place and we go with him taking a temporary break from the hellish position he finds himself in.

The strength of this movie was knowing when to cut away from the rocks.  Thanks to those decisions, we get a full sense of what it was like to go through that situation.

I’ve since decided never to go climbing by myself.


Click here to read my Buried review.

The Editing

Buried vs 127 Hours An Editor's Perspective | Movie Blog

Here director/editor Rodrigo Cortez takes an entirely different approach by staying put inside a box.  Buried is by far one of the most original movies I’ve seen in a while.

When it comes to editing, it’s an entirely different style all together when compared to 127 Hours.  Having limitless options and skillfully selecting the best way to tell the story is difficult but doing so much with so little options can be just as challenging.

It makes your editing decisions harder when you are faced with one man, a cell phone and a wooden box.  To his credit, I thought the director did an amazing job keeping the shots fresh and varied. In this case, Buried was about piecing together all the carefully orchestrated moments and shots.  Without having so many options, you have to truly break the story down to it’s simplest form and make sure your editing elevates an already brilliant performance by Ryan Reynolds.

The one advantage Buried has is the cell phone.  This is how they managed to eliminate the flashbacks while still giving us more information about the character.  This story HAS to take place in the box.  That’s why it’s such a chilling and haunting tale.  I think the editing in Buried was more about precise execution rather than creative exploration and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Like I said, different styles.  Different possibilities.

The Story

I was absolutely fascinated by Buried.  It’s such an amazing and creative use of a wooden box and a single character. I still think it should have been at least in the running for an Oscar nod this year.

What struck me about the film was the message it conveyed about the politics surrounding Iraq, hostage situations and government policies.  The final 10 minutes or so are powerful to say the least and I found myself leaning forward wondering how it will end.

I wasn’t disappointed at all.  Buried’s ending made a statement that has stayed with me ever since.  A simple story done right can lead to some fantastic and thought provoking moments. Buried was full of them.

I’ve since decided never to drive trucks in Iraq.

127 Hours vs Buried

The Editing

Winner: 127 Hours

The Story

Winner: Buried

The Verdict

Overall, both movies didn’t disappoint.  They each have their own unique styles and executed them perfectly.  Both have phenomenal stories and performances but at the end of the day, I think I enjoyed Buried more.  I think of it this way:

I love both movies but some day, both films will be a part of my collection.  Chances are I’ll watch Buried first.

Special thanks to reader Nastee for inspiring this post.