Richard Curtis and Lee Hall "War Horse"
Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash "The Descendants"
Eric Roth "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillan "Moneyball"
Other Contenders -Steve Zaillan "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", George Clooney and Grant Heslov "The Ides of March", Roman Polanksi and Yasmina Reza "Carnage", Tate Taylor "The Help", Cameron Crowe and Alina Brosh McKenna "We Bought a Zoo", John Banville and Glenn Close "Albert Nobbs", Christopher Hampton "A Dangerous Method", Adrian Hodges "My Week With Marilyn", John Logan "Hugo", Steve Kloves "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2", Bruce Robinson "The Rum Diary", Rory Kinnear and Lynne Ramsey "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Commentary - Like most years, this category is stacked with Oscar contenders, and the five that I have currently predicted could all easily be replaced by other contenders. The Descendants is making a huge splash on the awards circuit, and even if it loses its steam as the season goes on, I think that Payne's script, and Clooney's performances are pretty safe all the way to the end. Eric Roth has won and been nominated a lot of times and if Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is as big of an Oscar magnet as Daldry's other films, I don't see why he won't make the cut. Two previous winners also pop up with Moneyball, the feel good baseball movie opening this weekend. Its getting good reviews, and its script is apparently one of the highlights, which is not surprising considering it comes from the minds of Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillan (who could also get in for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy seems like the big British film this year, and the script and Oldman's performance are particularly making a splash, although some precursor awards will help to raise its profile. Finally, I am going out on a limb with War Horse. It hasn't been seen yet, and it could be a bomb, but with Spielberg behind it, it definitely has a chance of making a splash.