Richard LaGravenese

Richard LaGravenese

Highest Rated: 97% A Little Princess (1995)

Lowest Rated: 19% Rude Awakening (1989)

Birthday: Oct 30, 1959

Birthplace: Not Available

A prolific scenarist long associated with sensitive women's films (Unstrung Heroes, A Little Princess, The Bridges of Madison County, The Mirror Has Two Faces), Richard LaGravenese cultivated a reputation for himself as the author of poignant, funny, and humanistic screenplays that gently touch the viewer's emotions without manipulating them. A Big Apple native born October 30, 1959, LaGravenese came of age in Brooklyn and studied acting at New York University's experimental theater wing at the Tisch School for the Arts. As a student, he honed his skills with dialogue and formed a New York- and Toronto-based comedy troupe, for which he also wrote sketches. After a disastrous turn on the icky 1989 generation gap "comedy" Rude Awakening, starring Cheech Marin and Louise Lasser, LaGravenese supplemented his (unrelated) day job by working on the script for what became The Fisher King (1991) -- a project reflecting his lifelong fascination with mythology. Directed by Terry Gilliam (who shares La Gravenese's passion for antiquated Arthurial legends and myth), King debuted during the Christmas season of 1991 and became an instant runaway hit and Academy contender. This most unusual picture stars Jeff Bridges as long-haired Jack Lucas, a suicidal New York DJ who regains his grasp on life after meeting Parry, an ostensibly insane homeless man (Robin Williams) obsessed with questing for The Holy Grail in midtown Manhattan. At the 64th Annual Academy Awards, the 32-year-old LaGravenese netted an Oscar nomination for his original screenplay (Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen), though he lost to Callie Khouri for Thelma & Louise. The Ref (1994) brought together LaGravenese and the late Ted Demme, with whom he would collaborate once more before Demme's 2002 death. An unofficial update of O. Henry's "The Ransom of Red Chief," uncharacteristically produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer (of all people), this rollicking farce casts acid-tongued Denis Leary as a cat burglar who inherits more trouble than he ever could have dreamed of, when he takes a couple with a volcanic relationship (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) hostage. The Ref premiered in March 1994, grossed dollar one, and attained a strong cult following as well.LaGravenese courted additional acclaim with his screenplays for his popular 1995 adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess and that same year's Bridges of Madison County, adapted from the Robert James Waller novel, directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood and Meryl Streep. La Gravenese then adapted sportswriter Franz Lidz's childhood autobiography into the intelligent coming-of-age drama Unstrung Heroes (1995), which also marked Diane Keaton's directorial debut. When it debuted in fall 1995, the film received outstanding write-ups and became a sleeper hit in ancillary markets, though the preponderance of critics gave sole credit for the film's charm to Keaton (the San Francisco Chronicle review began with the headline "Keaton Has the Right Touch,") and failed to acknowledge the pivotal role of the well-crafted screenplay in making the film soar. At around the same time, LaGravenese updated André Cayatte and Jean Meckert's screenplay for the 1958 Le Miroir à deux faces into a finely-wrought, contemporized romantic drama, The Mirror Has Two Faces, which Barbra Streisand produced through her Barwood company and helmed in early-mid 1996. This picture -- the story of a dowdy, unconfident English professor (Streisand) who enters into an experimental "sexless marriage" with a handsome but erotically stilted math professor (Jeff Bridges) and shockingly reinvents herself -- also became a runaway sleeper hit, especially among romantics. Living Out Loud (1998), a romantic comedy drama starring Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito, and Queen Latifah, marked LaGravenese's directorial debut. Another tale of mid-life loneliness and self-acceptance, or, in the words of the scripter himself, "people who are try

Highest Rated Movies



24% The Comedian Screenwriter $1.7M 2017
No Score Yet Pushing Dead Producer 2016
60% The Last 5 Years Director Screenwriter 2015
51% Unbroken Screenwriter $70.6M 2014
95% Behind the Candelabra Screenwriter $1.7M 2013
47% Beautiful Creatures Screenwriter Director $19.5M 2013
60% Water for Elephants Screenwriter $58.8M 2011
25% P.S. I Love You Director Screenwriter $53.6M 2007
87% Paris Je T'aime Director $4.9M 2007
70% Freedom Writers Director Screenwriter $36.5M 2007
77% A Decade Under the Influence Director 2003
84% Erin Brockovich Screenwriter 2000
59% Living Out Loud Screenwriter Director 1998
78% Beloved Screenwriter 1998
74% The Horse Whisperer Screenwriter 1998
74% Unstrung Heroes Screenwriter 1995
97% A Little Princess Screenwriter 1995
90% The Bridges of Madison County Screenwriter 1995
72% The Ref Producer Screenwriter 1994
83% The Fisher King Strait Jacket Yuppie Screenwriter 1991
19% Rude Awakening Screenwriter 1989


92% The Divide
Co-creator Executive Producer Producer 2014


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