Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: Final Nomination Predictions - Best Original and Adapted Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay
James Ivory "Call Me By Your Name"
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber "The Disaster Artist"
James Mangold, Scott Frank, and Michael Green "Logan"
Aaron Sorkin "Molly's Game"
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams "Mudbound"

Other Contenders - Lee Hall "Victoria and Abdul", David Scarpa "All the Money in the World", Stephen Chbosky, Steven Conrad and Jack Thorne "Wonder", Michael Green and Hampton Fancher "Blade Runner 2049", Allan Heinberg, Zach Snyder and Jason Fuchs "Wonder Woman", Richard Linklater "Last Flag Flying", James Gray "The Lost City of Z", Rian Johnson "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves, Rick Joffa, and Amanda Silver "War for the Planet of the Apes"

Commentary - BAFTA did not help much, as Paddington 2 and The Death of Stalin are not eligible, although it did give some life to Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool which could be a dark horse here. I think that four of these are locked and loaded: Call Me By Your Name, Mudbound, The Disaster Artist, and Molly's Game. It's that last slot that is troubling me. Victoria and Abdul seems like the perfect Oscar contender, but a lack of BAFTA recognition seems odd. All the Money in the World could be rewarded, as a late-breaking contender, but I don't hear much love for the script. Stephen Chbosky has been on the cusp of Oscar glory for years, and Wonder could take him over hte edge.  James Gray and Richard Linklater could get in, with such a weak selection. Blade Runner, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Star Wars all make the case for think-piece science fiction films. And I think that this is the year, finally, that one of these types of films makes the cut. But this year, it is Logan. A WGA Nomination and a Scripter Nod, and a lot of support. In such a weak year, and a year that the Academy needs to think broader to maintain prestige, it is time to reward a film in this category that is worthy, and that film is Logan.

Best Original Screenplay
Jordan Peele "Get Out"
Steven Rogers "I, Tonya"
Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird"
Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor "The Shape of Water",
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Other Contenders - Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon "The Big Sick", Liz Hannah and Josh Singer "The Post", Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread", Anthony McCarten "Darkest Hour", Sean Baker "The Florida Project"

Commentary - This is an interesting conundrum. I think Peele, Gerwig, and McDonagh are shoo-ins. But those last two slots are proving tricky. The Shape of Water and I, Tonya got both WGA and BAFTA nominations. That shows a lot of support, but it leaves out The Big Sick and The Post. These are two films that seem so strong at other guilds, and in this category particularly, The Big Sick felt like a shoo-in, and its WGA nomination helps. But in this tough race this year, I think it misses the cut for bigger or later contenders. Also watch out for PTA. With the writers, he should never be discounted.

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