Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: July Nomination Predictions - Best Adapted Screenplay

July Nomination Predictions
Gillian Flynn "Gone Girl"
Paul Thomas Anderson "Inherent Vice"
Jason Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson "Men, Women and Children"
Richard Curtis "Trash"
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese "Unbroken"

Other Contenders - Andrew Bovell "A Most Wanted Man", Nick Horny "Wild", Matt Charman and Saul Dibb "Suite Francaise" James Lapine "Into the Woods", William Monahan "The Gambler", Steven Knight "The Hundred-Foot Journey", Irena Brignull "The Boxtrolls", Jon Stewart "Rosewater", Kieran Fitzegerald, Tommy Lee Jones, and Wesley Oliver "The Homesman", Liv Ullmann "Miss Julie", Aline Brosh McKenna, Will Gluck, and Emma Thompson "Annie", Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, and Todd Louiso "Macbeth", Peter Landesman "Kill the Messenger"

Commentary - This race doesn't seem as deep as its original counterpart, but as we know there are always some borderline contenders that could switch between each category, kind of like Lee Daniel's The Butler did last year, when it went to original, claiming it wasn't "adapted" but instead "inspired". So right now, these are our assumptions of where these films will end up. Unbroken's buzz just rose ten-fold, with the sad passing of its real-life inspiration. But even if that wasn't the case, this script would still be giving us moviegoers chills. The Coen Bros teaming up with the likes of Oscar nominees Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson. If this film is even half as good as it looks, then this script is an incredibly strong contender. Gone Girl was a well-received, and widely popular mystery novel (which, despite being a librarian, I still have not read), and I think the right person to capture the mood is David Fincher. But this is an interesting case, because Gillian Flynn is adapting her own novel. If she can come out of her trappings as the original writer, and coalesce around a Fincher vision, the results could be fantastic. Paul Thomas Anderson missed out on a nod for The Master, which is kind of surprising. But he returns this year to the Adapted Screenplay race, which earned him his last Oscar nomination for writing for There Will Be Blood, with the adaptation of Inherent Vice. The novel has relatively mixed reactions from readers, but I expect Anderson will be able to elevate the material to Oscar worthy. Jason Reitman kind of missed the mark with Labor Day this past year, but he returns again with Men, Women, and Children. If he can bring back the spark of Thank You For Smoking, Up in the Air, and Juno, he could have another Oscar favorite on his hands. The final slot is tricky. The last John Le Carre adaptation Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy earned a nomination here, so watch out for Andrew Bovell's turn this year. Nick Hornby is an Oscar nominee, and Cheryl Strayed's Wild is certainly juicy material, but when you focus around only character, it can be tricky. Into the Wood and Annie are getting big screen adaptations this year, but musicals don't usually fair well in screenplay categories. Oscar winner William Monahan returns with The Gambler, but it might not end up being limited released before the deadline. Liv Ullmann is an acting legend, and this time she tries her hand at writing with the screenplay for Miss Julie. Jon Stewart could make a mark with Rosewater, Steven Knight returns with the Lasse Hallstrom-helmed The Hundred-Foot Journey", and Suite Francaise looks like pure Academy bait. But in the end, I am sticking with my guns that Stephen Daldry's Trash will be a hit with voters, and earn a nod for Richard Curtis, an Oscar nominee. I underestimated him so many times before, this time around I will not be the fool again.

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