The scribes that bind

Scripts probed meaning of the search for community

At 2009’s end, James Cameron’s “Avatar” offered an appealing vision of global interconnectedness on an alien planet. 2010’s scribes promptly began investigating the prospect of international amity on our own.

The efforts of little people amounted to much more than a hill of beans in this crazy world. They pulled together a nation yearning for decisive leadership in David Seidler’s “The King’s Speech”; changed attitudes about equal pay for women in William Ivory’s “Made in Dagenham”; and built a “book” in which everyone’s “face” could command a page in Aaron Sorkin’s “The Social Network.”

Class differences couldn’t pull apart an unconventional family in Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg’s “The Kids Are All Right.” Indeed, Peter Morgan needed the alliance of an aristocratic newscaster, a working-class stiff and two impoverished twins to plumb the mysteries of the “Hereafter.”

The year’s scribes were preoccupied with community — whether seeking to escape one, or finding accommodation within one — from the hardscrabble hollows of Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini’s “Winter’s Bone” to the genteel suburban allotment of Mike Leigh’s “Another Year.” The anomie of privilege was touched upon in David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole” and Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere.”

And screenwriting teams cemented Boston’s status as the new go-to locale for exploring working class dynamics: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard with “The Town,” and Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson and Keith Dorrington with “The Fighter.”

Time and again, 2010’s movies emphasized the force of collective action: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy sending teams of strangers to rescue a young man after “127 Hours”; Michael Arndt assembling a team of ragtag misfits to engineer a great escape in “Toy Story 3.” Teamwork brought justice to a lawless frontier in the Coen brothers’ “True Grit,” and prevented financial meltdown in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.”

As real life became more polarized and fractious, reel life responded to that plaintive cry of the 1990s, “Can’t we all just get along?” with an optimistic “Maybe so.”

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