First 2018 Predictions
Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, and Walter Fasano "Call Me By Your Name"
Richard Linklater "Last Flag Flying"
Aaron Sorkin "Molly's Game"
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams "Mudbound"
Brian Selznick "Wonderstruck"
Other Contenders - Liz Hannah "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project", Sofia Coppola "The Beguiled", Philippa Goslett and John Cameron Mitchell "How to Talk to Girls at Parties", Andrew Haigh "Lean on Pete", Lee Hall "Victoria and Abdul", Lynne Ramsay "You Were Never Really Here", Jason Dean Hall "Thank You For Your Service", Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham, and Marti Noxon "The Glass Castle", Hossein Amini and Matthew Michael Carnahan "The Snowman", Alex Garland "Annihilation", Hampton Fancher and Michael Green "Blade Runner 2049", Michael Green "Murder on the Orient Express", Steve Conrad "Wonder", Rian Johnson "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers "Spider-Man: Homecoming", Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos "Beauty and the Beast", Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green "Logan", John Logan, Dante Harper, Jack Paglen, and Michael Green "Alien Covenant", Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, and Nikolaj Arcel "The Dark Tower", Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs "Wonder Woman", Michel Hazanavicius "Redoubtable", Olivier Assayas and Roman Polanski "Based on a True Story", Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves "War for the Planet of the Apes", John Boorman, Todd Komarknicki, Farhad Safinia, "The Professor and the Madman", Kent Haruf, Scott Neustadter, and Michael H. Weber "Our Souls at Night", Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, and Peter Fellows "The Death of Stalin", Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz "American Assassin", Michael Carney, Alexander Foard, and Ron Hall "Same Kind of Different As Me", Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett "Mary Magdalene"
Commentary - It is so hard at the beginning of the season to discern the contenders, but it's also a nice exercise, because it let's you know where you are going. To start my top five, I am looking at two big contenders out of Sundance: Mudbound and Call Me By Your Name. Last year, Manchester By the Sea went all the way from Sundance to a screenplay Oscar. Both received rave reviews, both are from great novels, and both seem to have the power to stay throughout the season. Aaron Sorkin barely missed for Steve Jobs (and he was robbed), but his directorial debut Molly's Game, gives an opportunity to make an Oscar comeback. Richard Linklater's Everybody Loves Somebody!! was an awards dud, but he has made his way into the screenplay categories before, and is always a threat. Finally, with Todd Hayne's latest, Brian Selznick's script for Wonderstruck will be in the mix. Beyond those five there are plenty of baity projects including the latest films from Garth Davis, Steven Spielberg, Andrew Haigh, John Cameron Mitchell, Jason Dean Hall, Lynne Ramsay, Sofia Coppola, Michel Hazanavicius, and Stephen Frears. Then there is a huge rift, between the smaller films/Oscar bait, and the big kahunas. There are tons of blockbusters and blockbusters in the making that always seem like they can breakthrough, but often don't. That being said, these films cannot be discounted, as you never know when one is going to breakthrough. This group includes: The Snowman, Blade Runner 2049, Annihilation, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder, Murder on the Orient Express, Beauty and the Beast, Alien Covenant, The Dark Tower, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Wonder Woman.