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Screenwriter Hossein Amini likes the silences in Drive

Ryan Gosling in Drive

Ryan Gosling in Drive

When asked to adapt a script about a man with no name, no backstory, and barely any dialogue, screenwriter Hossein Amini knew he hit the jackpot. “I love silences,” Amini says of Drive, the film he adapted from a book by James Sallis. The story is about a stunt driver by day who runs a getaway car service at night. Starring Ryan GoslingCarey Mulligan, and Albert Brooks, it’s one of the most anticipated indie films of the season. But no one talks, or has any backstory … ? That’s what makes it exciting, says Amini, whose credits include The Four FeathersJude, and The Wings of the DoveScript sat down with Amini to talk about how much white space he likes to see on the page.

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About Jenna Milly



3 thoughts on “Screenwriter Hossein Amini likes the silences in Drive

  1. Jenna,

    This is an excellent article for screenwriters. I enjoyed Mr. Amini’s insights. I just finished my 5th script and submitted it to American Zoetrope (aka Francis Ford Coppola’s contest) and finally feel that I found my voice. ‘Drive’ is a good film due in large part to Mr. Amini’s minimalist script. He understands that it is more powerful to show action to reveal the story and not verbose dialogue. Here is my review of the film, http://www.examiner.com/movies-in-boise/drive-movie-review-review. Now that you mentioned it in your interview, I do see the comparisons to the classic Western.

    Twitter: Film_Shark

    Posted by Dan Delago | September 20, 2011, 12:05 pm
  2. Hi Dan, Great review! Thanks for sending. Too bad the film didn’t do well outside of NY or LA — numbers were down according to Variety. How was it received in Idaho?
    p.s. Here’s a link to the full review I wrote for SheKnows.com

    Posted by jennamilly | September 20, 2011, 2:29 pm
  3. After seeing Drive, listed as #1 on EW’s Must List in their Sept 23rd issue, against my better judgement I went to see the movie. What started out as an attempt to show us a stylish new kind of getaway driver film rapidly disintegrated into C movie sound editing, B movie acting, and A movie gore with awkward silence and discontinuity throughout. Seriously, there is a difference between minimalist and awkward silences that don’t exist in the real world. The opening scene had me thinking this film had potential, but honestly, after the husband opens up to the driver in the bathroom about what trouble he’s in to, the film took a major turn for the worst. It was almost as if the film was made by 4 different people in 4 different seasons. Scenes were out of any kind of timeline, the music shifted from 80’s to new wave to new age A LOT. Not only was poor Carey Mulligan the real victim in this movie, her career took a blow here too; not even she could save the movie. This seemed like a poor attempt to alter Gosling’s image and gain a little male audience. Even EW said he turned the film down at first, and because the director doesn’t even have a drivers license, he had to drive him back to his hotel…in awkward silence as he cried and started singing an REO Speedwagon song…NO LIE. It’s no surprise the numbers were down outside of NY or LA. Once you get out of the ‘hype zone’, people get real. EVERYBODY leaving this film was laughing and shaking their head saying it was one of the worst films since Mexican Werewolf in Texas. And when the audience is laughing out loud when Gosling is crushing a bad guys head in an elevator until it no longer exists with his boot…well, you have to agree.

    Posted by Len | September 25, 2011, 4:56 pm

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