No one wrangles together the words quite like Woody. This week’s featured screenplay is Woody Allen’s 2011 whimsical mix of the neurotic and nostalgic Midnight in Paris. Able, acerbic, and Academy Award-winning, this script marks a return to form and renaissance in Allen’s late career. It’s a script that strikes a fine balance between trenchant one-liners and heartfelt hurly-burlies. The script features a protagonist struggling with a thwarted romance for both a bonnie girl and a bygone generation. It's fine fantasy fare that recalls his best out-there concepts a la The Purple Rose of Cairo or Sleeper. If there’s any screenwriter you want to be reading and reading in abundance, it’s Woody Allen. This is a wordsmith who’s been cranking out the hits since the sixties. Prolific to a fault some would argue. But few would debate that many writers have the longevity, understanding, and natural nous for narrative and dialogue like Mr. Allan Steward Konigsberg. He’s assuredly sui generis in his work-rate and range of storytelling.
Coming from a largely comedic background, economy of language has always been his bread and butter. He has a keen ear for incisive lines that perfectly encapsulate and convey. Pithy and practical. He pares down and achieves a laconic profundity time and time again.
Listen to the language he employs to tidily capture the entire bibliography, tone, and persona of Ernest Hemingway in what is probably the funniest and bleakest monologue in his entire oeuvre:
It’s no easy feat to find the balance between romance and comedy. It’s a sweet spot that can be elusive. But this script is written with a diamond-cutter precision that finds that balance skillfully and with alarming frequency. The screenplay is littered with scenes that tickle the ribs and pluck the heartstrings. One just wades wistfully into the opening sequence:
So waltz on over and wallow in this tale of rose-colored yesteryears. A yarn about the creative process and remembrance and the act of writing itself, Midnight in Paris is meaningfully meta and memorable.
I’m sure you’ll remember it fondly.
I’ll leave you with these parting lines from the ever volatile Hemingway. All too sagacious methinks.
Also, the reams and reams of new scripts in the library this week include:
- A grab bag of episodes from the drama series Greenleaf produced by Oprah Winfrey.
- Scripts for the musically-soaked stylings of The Get Down created by Baz Luhrmann.
- A largesse of new scripts for TNT’s Good Behavior created by Chad Hodge and Blake Crouch.
- The swashbuckling fantasy-drama series The Shannara Chronicles based upon the novels by Terry Brooks airing on Spike.
We also invite you to browse our online catalog for the freshest harvest of scripts we’ve acquired of late.