Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Original Screenplay

November Predictions
David O. Russell and Eric Singer "American Hustle"
Woody Allen "Blue Jasmine"
Joel and Ethan Coen "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Bob Nelson "Nebraska"
Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith "Saving Mr. Banks"

Other Contenders - Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron "Gravity", Spike Jonze "Her", Danny Strong "Lee Daniel's The Butler", Ryan Coogler "Fruitvale Station", Craig Borten and Melisa Wollack "Dallas Buyers Club", Nicole Holofcener "Enough Said", Jeff Nichols "Mud", Peter Morgan "Rush", Asghar Farhadi "The Past", Scott Cooper and Brad Inglesby "Out of the Furnace"
Commentary - This category looks like it is going to be much more competitve than its Adapted counterpart, a rare occurence.  But right now, I have Gravity (I think it could struggle to get in here, as many people seem to think that the narrative lacked something, they're wrong but unfortunately it could happen), Her (Is it too weird for voters? or will the writers go to bat for it?), Lee Daniel's The Butler (the screenplay wasn't really that great, the film was pretty good because of the actors and some of Lee Daniel's poignant images), Fruitvale Station (can it launch a comeback?), and Dallas Buyers Club (is it more than just McConaughey and Leto?) all on the outside looking in, along with indies Mud and Enough Said, just proving how stacked this category is. While Alexander Payne's name may not be attached to this screenplay, I tend to think that Bob Nelson's work for Nebraska is right up the writing branch's alley. Woody Allen could receive another nod for his stellar work in Blue Jasmine. He is a legend in this category, and the film is playing itself as an outside Best Picture contender, along with the guaranteed nod for Cate Blanchett. I'm not sure how the Academy will react to Inside Llewyn Davis, a very different piece from the Coen Bros. But they have done well in the screenplay categories, and the film is getting rave reviews. If it can stay strong, then I expect the film to at least get a nod here. The last two slots right now are going to big Best Picture contenders. We now know that Saving Mr. Banks is a bonafide threat for the top prize, and while some people have criticized John Lee Hancock for some of his choices, the critics are sticking by the quality of Marcel and Smith's script, which had been praised before the film was released. If the film is as popular with Oscar voters as it appears it will be, this should be an easy nomination to nab. We still have not seen American Hustle, but I believe that if it is as good as its early footage looks, we are in for a real treat, and an easy screenplay nomination for previous nominee David O. Russell, and his partner Eric Singer.   

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