"G.W.H." finally got the cheapies around here, so it seemed worth checking out . . . i thought it a pretty godawful movie but i recognize how many personal factors are involved in such judgments and so i'm not eager to pursue a general evaluation of the film . . . but i'd very much like some feedback from the list on one particular . . . if i remember correctly "G.W.H." was nominated for, and i think won, the academy award for best screenplay . . . and this, matters of taste aside, seems to me incomprehensible . . . the general outline of the story -- disadvantaged hero sees the light and breaks through to discover the path to achieving her/his true potential -- is common enough, and decently manipulated has an obvious kind of appeal, so i anticipated a sappy but reasonably engaging [if not engrossing film] . . . this kind of plot, i would think, depends on narrative maneuvers that establish sympathy with the characters and provide some insight [or simulacrum of insight] into their personalities . . . but the refusal of the screenplay to pursue any single narrative thread for more than three minutes at a time, especially when combined with van sant's Attention Deficit Disorder approach to directing [nicely suited to PRIVATE IDAHO, but absolutely the wrong thing here] seemed to undermine any chance the film had to succeed on its own desired level . . . . . . if i don't want to resort to the total cynicism of colleagues who suggest that the awards are COMPLETELY political and have nothing to do with quality, i'm left thinking that the film's screenplay must have gotten attention merely because of three moderately effective set-pieces: the second consultation with robin william's shrink; the argument/confrontation between shrink and math prof; and --the one i liked best-- will's little diatribe about how taking a corporate job would be selling out his principles . . . of course this speech -- the single most patient piece of cinematography in the film -- makes absolutely no sense coming from will, whose morality involves pummeling people who offended him years ago, and is, at its best, sophomoric political analysis, redolent of the worst sixties rhetoric . . . still, it IS an extended piece of verbal language, and a crowd pleaser -- so perhaps that's what earned the screenplay attention . . . but maybe i'm being unfair . . .i recognize that screenplay writing is a complex craft, with qualities that those of us who only watch and read about and think about film might entirely miss . . . so i'd be very eager to hear from the list about possible virtues in the screenplay [or even the film] that i may have missed . . . or -- lacking that -- some thoughts about how to explain the film's success mike frank ---- Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the University of Alabama.