101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

Michael Arndt’s first produced screenplay won the 2007 Writers Guild Award for Original Screenplay and an Oscar. The Hoovers, a family on the waitlist for the American dream, head out from Albuquerque in their creaky VW bus. Destination: a child beauty pageant in California for eight-year-old, Olive. The JonBenét Ramsey story this isn’t. But then, the Hoovers are general disrupters of the tidy divide between the “beautiful” and the “ugly,” “winners” and “losers.” Arndt’s script, producer Ron Yerxa told The Hollywood Reporter, read “like a Ph.D. thesis on cultural emptiness in America.”