Chris Terrio "Argo"
Phillippa Boyens, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, & Guillermo del Toro "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
David McGee "Life of Pi"
Tony Kushner, John Logan, and Paul Webb "Lincoln"
David O. Russell "Silver Linings Playbook"
Other Contenders - Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin "Beasts of the Southern Wild", Ben Lewin "The Sessions", Ol Parker "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", Tom Stoppard "Anna Karenina", William Nicholson "Les Miserables", Judd Apatow "This is 40", Jose Rivera "On the Road", John J. McLaughlin "Hitchcock", John Logan Patrick Marber Neal Purvis and Robert Wade "Skyfall", Stephen Chbosky "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan "The Dark Knight Rises"
Commentary - There are three films that I think will end up slinging this out for the prize: Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, and Lincoln. Argo is still the frontrunner, although the recent releases of the other two films have boosted its competition, and until precursors start sorting it out, I think that this could go to either of them. I think the one to watch for is Lincoln, and not just because I loved the film. I think that it is literary and its dialogue is fantastic, and while Terrio's Argo script is taut and tight, some voters may prefer the more melodic and old-school sound and feel of Lincoln more. We'll just have to wait and see. In the last two spots I have decided to exclude something I have included all season. Beasts of the Southern Wild could easily still get in, but it needs some critics support and it needs it soon. As the onslaught of Oscar movies has come upon us, Beasts is being talked about less and less. The Indie Spirit nods on Nov. 27th, will certaintly help its cause, but it actually needs more. Instead I have added Life of Pi. I know I said I didn't think its screenplay would get in, but as it becomes one of the four frontrunners for BP (which could change in about a week or two as the screenings for the big four happen), then its screenplay, especially in a year which is not as strong as normal in this category, is surely a safe bet. The final slot may still surpise people. I know that The Hobbit's buzz is muted at this moment, because most pundits believe that it has a been there done that quality. But I still maintain that it will be a huge hit over the holidays, and that it will also probably be a good film. And while the director's race may be too much for Jackson to get into, I think that it gets at least one big nod, and I think this is the one.