8. Paul Schrader – Best Screenplay for “First Reformed” – Writer/director Paul Schrader wrote “Taxi Driver” (1976), “American Gigolo” (1980), “Raging Bull” (1980), “The Mosquito Coast” (1986), and “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988), so a screenplay Oscar nomination for the man is way overdue. The Academy finally recognized Schrader for his written work about a reverend (Ethan Hawke) preaching sermons to a small congregation in rows of white pews, while black outlooks fill his soul in “First Reformed”.
The film asks big questions within a small Upstate New York village, as Rev. Toller (Hawke) closely examines man’s cavalier and destructive attitude towards the environment. Perhaps, Travis Bickle can lend a helpful hand, but no, Toller takes on the role of judge and jury all by himself.
Image credits: IMDB and A24; Trailer credits: A24