10. ‘Billy Elliot‘: Screenplay by Lee Hall

‘Billy Elliot’ is heartwarming, straightforward and unique. It tells the story of a young boy developing a passion for ballet, defying the traditional gender roles in the community he lives in. As a audience, we follow his journey and struggles throughout. ‘Billy Elliot’ follows the classical Hollywood Three Act structure.

9. ‘The Talented Mr Ripley‘: Screenplay by Anthony Minghella

8. ‘Lost In Translation‘: Screenplay by Sofia Coppola

What makes Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’ script stands out is the use of silence. It is important to notice that sometimes silence says more than words can, giving the audience time to reflect how characters feel for themselves, and what their interpretation of the situations is.

7. ‘Her’: Screenplay by Spike Jonze

6. ‘Juno‘: Screenplay by Diablo Cody

Whats stand out most about ‘Juno‘s script is the way it masterfully deconstructs the cliches of characters, and exposes their truth. We are instantly drawn as a audience to Juno’s tale, and discover the other characters true sides as she does. The film makes us rethink the stigmas around teen pregnancy, and in the same way we are forced to reconsider our initial judgements of each of the characters as we learn more about them. For example, the naive boyfriend becomes deep, the tough strong father is much softer than he appears, and the evil stepmother becomes a rock for Juno.

5. ‘The King’s Speech‘: Screenplay by David Seidler

4. ‘Dunkirk‘: Screenplay by Christopher Nolan

Listen to this podcast with Christopher Nolan on the structure of the screenplay for ‘Dunkirk’

3. ‘Pulp Fiction‘: Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary

The script for ‘Pulp Fiction‘ is not held back by the classical dramatic structure one story, one main character, one conflict, or one theme, leaving the audience guessing at the intended meaning. This is done with a very fine balance to ensure that it isn’t chaotic, making it a masterpiece of writing.

2. ‘Little Miss Sunshine‘: Screenplay by Michael Arndt

1. ‘American Beauty‘: Screenplay by Alan Ball

The script for ‘American Beauty‘ is vital, since every scene is crucial, yet we are also in very generic surroundings. The opening paragraph sets the scene for the whole film, since instantly the audience has to know why Lester will die. The challenge of keeping the audience guessing is maintained throughout as we become absorbed in Lester’s lifestyle and choices.


(Feature Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures)