Best Adapted Screenplay
Jason Hall "American Sniper"
Gillian Flynn "Gone Girl"
Graham Moore "The Imitation Game"
Anthony McCarten "The Theory of Everything"
Damien Chazelle "Whiplash"
Other Contenders - Nick Norby "Wild", Paul Thomas Anderson "Inherent Vice", Joel and Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, and William Nicholson "Unbroken", James Gunn and Nicole Perlman "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Commentary - This race is a weaker one this year, which is why I think that despite the odd switch to Adapted from Original, that Damien Chazelle will get a nomination for Whiplash. Wild and Inherent Vice are the spoilers here, but I think that Whiplash edges out their chances. The other four are pretty solid. The Imitation Game, American Sniper, and Gone Girl got WGA nods, and The Theory of Everything, while ineligible for the WGA, it is a lock. Plus all four that I just mentioned got BAFTA nods as well.
Best Original Screenplay
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo "Birdman"
Richard Linklater "Boyhood"
Wes Anderson "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Mike Leigh "Mr. Turner"
Dan Gilroy "Nightcrawler"
Other Contenders - Paul Webb "Selma" and E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman "Foxcatcher"
Commentary - Despite the Mike Leigh snub at BAFTA, I still think that he will get an Oscar nod, as voters, particularly writers and directors absolutely love him. The problem was that I had already nailed down five slots. Birdman, Boyhood, and The Grand Budapest Hotel were locks, and Nightcrawler got WGA and BAFTA, plus is doing incredibly well. But when Whiplash moved to original, I was finally able to get Leigh in there. Selma has fumbled a lot lately, and I just don't see a lot of support for the screenplay for Foxcatcher. So despite both of those films still being potent Best Picture contenders, I seriously think we have our five.
Best Film Editing
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Other Contenders -Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, Selma, Foxcatcher, Unbroken
Commentary - Birdman, Boyhood, and Imitation Game are top BP frontrunners, The Grand Budapest Hotel is on fire right now, and Whiplash is some of the best editing of the year. So simple right? Not at all. Gone Girl's Kirk Baxter won back to back editing awards, and even though Girl With the Dragon Tattoo missed BP it not only was nominated, but won. Nightcrawler cannot be underestimated, and Foxcatcher and Selma are hanging on. This race is far from over, so this is where I expect an upset to potentially occur. As always, we'll have to wait and see...