Wednesday, October 19, 2011

State of the Race - October Predictions: Screenplay Awards

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, and Jim Rash "The Descendants"
Eric Roth "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Steve Zaillan and Aaron Sorkin "Moneyball"
Bridget O'Connor and Peter Strong "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
Richard Curtis and Lee Hall "War Horse"

Other Contenders - George Clooney and Grant Heslov "The Ides of March", Tate Taylor "The Help", Steve Zaillan "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", Cameron Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna "We Bought a Zoo", Roman Polanski and Yasmina Reza "Carnage", John Logan "Hugo", Rory Kinner and Lynne Ramsey "We Need to Talk About Kevin", Steve Kloves "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"

Commentary - This one has a lot of potential contenders, so narrowing it down is difficult. For example, I am currently excluding The Ides of March, until some precursors, as its box office/reviews were simply less than stellar. Moneyball is experiencing the opposite reaction than Ides, and its witty script seems to be at the heart of its success. While Tinker needs to boost its campaign, we've heard great things about it, and adapting such a popular novel is no easy feat. The Descendants, like Sideways in 2004, is one of the biggest contenders for this category, and is getting great reviews. In the final two slots I am putting two films we have yet to see, but are probably two of the biggest contenders, War Horse and Extremely Loud...Once again, we'll have to wait and see.

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius "The Artist"  
Abi Morgan "The Iron Lady"
Dustin Lance Black "J. Edgar"
Woody Allen "Midnight in Paris"
Diablo Cody "Young Adult"

Other Contenders - Will Reiser "50/50", Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones "Like Crazy", Terrence Malick "The Tree of Life", Jeff Nichols "Take Shelter", Sean Durkin "Martha Marcy May Marlene", Sarah Polley "Take This Waltz", Thomas McCarthy and Joe Tibani "Win Win", Mike Mills "Beginners", Kristen Wiig  and Annie Mumolo "Bridesmaids"

Commentary - This category has so many unknowns, that I am only confident at this point of two. Woody Allen is most likely a shoo-in for Midnight in Paris, especially since he is a veteran in this category. The Artist is most likely the frontrunner at this point, but most of the script is simply direction. Will the Academy be brave enough to go for a film with hardly any dialogue? I'm thinking the answer is yes. Beyond that there are so many question marks. At this point I am not taking any risks, which may be stupid, but safer is not sorry this early in the game. So films like 50/50, Bridesmaids, Like Crazy, Win Win, Beginners, Take Shelter, The Tree of Life,  and Martha Marcy May Marlene, all great films but all may have trouble registering with the Academy. Diablo Cody has already won an Oscar, so until Young Adult gets a thumbs up or down, I'm going to include her. In the final two slots, I am going with the two unknown biopics, which both have the potnetial to suceed, or to fail. I am going positive at this moment, but we'll have to wait and seat.

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