Friday, April 6, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: First 2019 Predictions - Best Original Screenplay

First 2019 Predictions
Adam McKay "Backseat"
Jonah Hill "Mid '90s"
Mike Leigh "Peterloo"
Tamara Jenkins "Private Life"
Benh Zeitlin "Wendy"

Other Contenders - Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara "The Favourite", Asghar Farhadi "Everybody Knows", Julian Schnabel and Jean-Claude Carriere "At Eternity's Gate", Steven Knight "Rio", Woody Allen "A Rainy Day in New York", Justin Haythe, Anthony McCarten, Peter Morgan, Stephen J. Rivele, and Christopher Wilkinson "Bohemian Rhapsody", Elijah Bynum "Hot Summer Nights", Caroline Thompson and Robert Zemeckis "The Women of Marwen", Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura "Isle of Dogs", Nicole Holofcener "The Land of Steady Habits", Xavier Dolan and Jacob Tierney "The Death and Life of John F. Donovan", Diablo Cody "Tully", James Gray and Ethan Gross "Ad Astra", Richard Glatzer, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Wash Westmoreland "Colette", Ari Aster "Hereditary", Oja Kodar and Orson Welles "The Other Side of the Wind", Daniel Stiepleman "On the Basis of Sex", Lars Von Trier "The House that Jack Built", Terrence Malick "Raegund", David Robert Mitchell "Under the Silver Lake", Dan Fogelman "Life Itself", David Auburn "Georgetown", Mark Burton, James Higginson, Nick Park "Early Man", Cory Finley "Thoroughbreds", Brian and Jim Kehoe "Blockers", Paul Schrader "First Reformed"

Commentary - When we star this process, it is so easy to stick to known quantities. We know that there is going to be a first time or a surprise entry, but it is so hard to guess which one it is going to be. So, that being said, my first predictions in this category are probably playing it safe. Mike Leigh gets nominations here all the time, even if his films inspire enough support for Best Picture. Tamara Jenkins has not made a movie since The Savages, and her last film earned her an Oscar nod. Word of of Sundance was positive. Adam McKay's The Big Short was a surprise Oscar breakthrough for the director of the Anchorman movies, and it earned him a screenwriting Oscar. It looks like he is sticking with prestige pictures, as his Dick Cheney biopic looks to be a big contender. Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild was one of the Cinderella stories of the 2012 Oscar season, and he looks to return with his first feature since, Wendy. Now that he is on the map, I think voters will be paying attention. Finally, A24 looks to repeat on its Lady Bird success, with Mid '90s. This time it is Jonah Hill who is tackling his teenage years in Los Angeles. Hill is a two-time Oscar nominee, and A24 knows what it is doing. Beyond those five, there are plenty of recent Oscar favorites with potentials. Luca Guadagnino (Rio), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Asghar Farhadi, Julian Schnabel, Woody Allen (although I think his Oscar days are over), Robert Zemeckis, and Wes Anderson all have films returning to this race, and all are the kind of auteurs and esoteric picks the writers love to honor. Bohemian Rhapsody has had a lot of setbacks in production, but there are some interesting names on its screenplay credits. Elijah Bynum could score with Hot Summer Nights starring Timothee Chalamet, Nicole Holofcener could score double nominations in both original and adapted, Hereditary could follow Get Out's Sundance trajectory, Xavier Dolan could finally get into this race, and Orson Welles could win a posthumous Oscar if his long lost film is as good as his work in his life. Also watch out for Terrence Malick, David Robert Mitchell, Dan Fogelman, Wash Westmroeland and Richard Glatzer, and Lars Von Trier.

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