Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Adapted Screenplay

November Predictions
Phyllis Nagy "Carol"
Drew Goddard "The Martian"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Mark L. Smith "The Revenant"
Emma Donoghue "Room"
Aaron Sorkin "Steve Jobs"

Other Contenders - Nick Hornby "Brooklyn", Lucinda Coxon "The Danish Girl", Charlie Kaufman "Anomalisa", Andrew Haigh "45 Years", Adam McKay and Charles Randolph "The Big Short", Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington "Creed", John McNamara "Trumbo", Cary Joji Fukunaga "Beasts of No Nation", Jesse Andrews "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", Donald Margulies "The End of the Tour", Billy Ray "Secret in Their Eyes", Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth "Black Mass", Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", James Vanderbilt "Truth", Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne "The Walk", Charles Leavitt, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver "In the Heart of the Sea", George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nick Lathouris "Mad Max: Fury Road", Jeffrey Hatcher "Mr. Holmes", Marielle Heller "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, and Todd Louiso "Macbeth", Peter Landesman "Concussion", Peter Straughn "Our Brand is Crisis"

Commentary - Unlike the Original side of things, this category has had some shake up. The Danish Girl and Brooklyn are still both major Oscar contenders, and both could be Best Picture nominations. But this category is just so stacked this year that at the moment they are just right outside the top five. As are the scripts for The Big Short, Creed, Trumbo, 45 Years, Beasts of No Nation, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Black Mass, The Walk, Truth, In the Heart of the Sea, Mr. Holmes, Star Wars, and The End of the Tour, although all of them should be kept on your radar. So who did make the cut? First at the top of the list is Aaron Sorkin's script for Steve Jobs. I know the box office was a dud, but this is still a well-liked movie among the folks that matter, and Sorkin's scripts are perfect fodder for other writers. Room is rapidly rising up the charts in a lot of categories, and while Gillian Flynn couldn't pull the nod for adapting her own script, I think that Emma Donoghue will have a better shot, as the emotional part of Room will make it a bigger Oscar contender in the long run compared to the emotionally hollow Gone Girl. The Revenant returns recent screenplay winner Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to the fold, and while it is still unseen, history and name recognition keep it in the top. Carol is in a similar road with Brooklyn and The Danish Girl, but I think it will have more critical support, and will end up being a bigger Oscar hit than the other two (although all are going to nail several big nominations across the board). Finally, while The Martian is in fact a science fiction film. There is a lot of humanity, heart and humor in the story. So while these genre films usually don't score well here, The Martian is such a huge Oscar contender, and the novel by Andy Weir was beloved, so there is some literary backing. It could see the writers instead going for something like Brooklyn, but if The Martian remains too big to ignore, this could be another category it conquers.

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