Friday, March 19, 2010


That's the working title of my new screenplay.  I haven't officially started to write it yet.  It's at the gestation stage.  I'm seeing the movie play out in my head, making a rough outline of key scenes and developments, picking names for the characters and music to reflect the time period (present and early 1990s).  I'm gearing up to write a first draft by summer when I can't keep the movie in my head anymore and it's ready to commit to paper.

Have you ever had a story basically tap you on the shoulder and say "write me".  In this case, it feels like that.  It's a story that started coming to me in drips and drabs over the past few years, especially whenever I drove through a small town.  It's one of those stories where you can't move forward unless you visit the past.  A story about redemption -- like in the tone of The Wrestler.

What is your favorite movie about redemption?  Where a character returns to pay for his sins?  Can you think of any?  Where a character starts out bad in the story and evolves to become a better human being?

Look at the news lately -- wow -- talk about redemption.  What is going on with people?  Every day it's another person falling into disgrace and public humiliation?  Human nature doesn't seem so pretty in the press lately.  Someone referred to the news the other day as Cheat TV.

I love stories about second chances (although some of these athletes, celebrities and politicians don't deserve it) but we're all capable of letting people down... it's how you get back up and correct the situation (if you can).  Flaws.  Redemption.  Forgiveness.  Hope. 

Great mix for a screenplay. 

PS -- If you know of a terrific redemption movie, e-mail me your pick.


Ingrid said...

I think 'Girl, Interrupted' is kinda about redemption. As is the Australian film, 'Romper Stomper'. You could also argue 'American Beauty', 'Pretty Woman' and 'American History X' are redemption tales, especially the latter.

Anonymous said...

J. J. Abrams wrote Regarding Henry specifically because he felt the US was ready for a redemption story...

Janet Lawler said...

Thanks, yes, all great redemption films. Also ROCKY in a sense is redemptive in that he starts off in the original as a loan shark's thug. And "The Apostle" and "Shawshank Redemption".

Nothing like good second chance.


Nunnally Johnson said...

How about the wildly seminal 1994 film, "Pulp Fiction"? There's redemption for the Jules Winfield and Butch characters. Jules decides to forego the life of crime to "walk the Earth" like Quai Chang Cain, whereas Butch decides to go back and help Marcellus Wallace out of his "little pickle". Both decisions are ones that I would refer to as redemptive.

Also, too many movies are about redemption in my opinion. So often someone does the right thing in movies. I find it more interesting when people eschew the "moral" choice and try out the "fun" choice instead. It certainly makes for more entertaining cinema.

Just my opinion.