Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win - John Ridley "12 Years a Slave"
Could Win - Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope "Philomena"
Should Win - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke "Before Midnight"
Commentary - When Before Midnight was announced as a nominee, I think it might have been might favorite moment of the morning. While I know it doesn't really have a shot here, the nomination is recognition of the brilliance of this incredible story. Alas, this looks like a done deal with John Ridley's script taking the prize. But watch out for Philomena. It beat out 12 Years at BAFTA, and we as a community have underestimated the film the whole season. Don't be surprised if it upsets here.
Will Win - David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer "American Hustle"
Could Win - Spike Jonze "Her"
Should Win - Bob Nelson "Nebraska"
Commentary - This category has been a disappointment for me all season because the best nominee of the bunch, Nebraska, has been constantly ignored. And Enough Said (my other favorite) missed most of the big nominations. American Hustle has an unbridled energy thanks to Russell's fantastic direction and the incredible cast, but its screenplay is a bit too messy. And I have never really understood all the hype for Her, besides the performances, I found the film to be stretched way too thin for its length. Nebraska's script is funny, dark and pitch-perfect. But alas, I do need to get over it because this is a tight battle between Hustle and Her. Her won the WGA, and so most people are going its way (also with a Globe win and Critics Choice Win), but Hustle won at BAFTA, and I think that the whole Academy membership would rather vote for a film that it really loves over a film that it sort of likes. This is definitely a tight race, but I am thinking Hustle will pull it off. If for nothing else, it gives them a reason to finally honor Russell.