Jim Taylor, Class of '84, wins the Oscar for Sideways screenplay.
Pomona alumnus Jim Taylor '84 and writing partner Alexander Payne last night won the Academy Award for their adapted screenplay for Sideways. "My mother taught me to write and she died before she could see any of this," Taylor (shown at right) said as he accepted the statuette before a television audience of millions. "This is for you, mom."
Sideways, a comedy about a pair of friends roaming through wine country and meeting women, had been nominated for five Oscars. Taylor mentioned that he attended Pomona during the post-award press room interview, where reporters from around the world pepper the winners with questions.
Last month, the writing pair won the Golden Globe Award for their script. Taylor and writer-director Payne have collaborated on three other well-received films: Citizen Ruth, Election and About Schmidt. The screenplay for Sideways is adapted from the Rex Pickett novel of the same name and Rolling Stone's Peter Travers writes that the "nuanced script ... serves as a model of screen adaptation by shaping dialogue into classic comic contours."
Taylor is only the latest Pomona alumnus to win an Oscar for screenwriting. David Ward, Class of 1967, won an original screenplay Oscar for The Sting in 1973. Robert Towne, Class of 1956, took home the award in 1974 for his Chinatown screenplay. Taylor and Towne will be featured in the next issue of Pomona College Magazine.