Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara "The Favourite"
Paul Schrader "First Reformed"
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly "Green Book"
Alfonso Cuaron "Roma"
Adam McKay "Vice"
Other Contenders - Bo Burnham "Eighth Grade", John Krasinksi, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck "A Quiet Place", Boots Riley "Sorry to Bother You", Ari Aster "Hereditary", Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartman, Kunichi Nomura, "Isle of Dogs", Jeff Pope "Stan & Ollie", Tamara Jenkins "Private Life", Caroline Thompson and Robert Zemeckis "Welcome to Marwen", Pawel Pawlikowski and Janusz Glowacki "Cold War"
Commentary - The conversation for this race has narrowed down to seven contenders for five slots. Roma, Green Book, and The Favourite feel like locks. Vice has still yet to have reviews released, and I keep hearing they will end up being mixed. But it swept the Globes and Critics Choice, and rumor also is that it is playing well with Academy members. The buzz suggests a muted response, the precursors tell us critics and industry members don't care. Plus McKay won a screenplay Oscar a couple of years ago, and is clearly well liked in this branch. This leaves one slot. A Quiet Place is the seventh slot, having gotten a Critics Choice nomination. It will need a combination or at least one of WGA and BAFTA to really put itself in the conversation. Although Get Out winning in this category shows that voters are willing to embrace genre. I think the last slot is between Eighth Grade and First Reformed. Of the two, I am leaning towards First Reformed. Eighth Grade could fall victim to other recent teen-centered scripts that lost at the finish line with the Academy. Plus it is going up against a legend who has never received an Oscar nomination. Beyond those seven, are a bunch of indies that have popped up but I don't think have enough buzz to crash the party including Hereditary, Sorry to Bother You, Private Life, Isle of Dogs, and Cold War. Finally, two still unknown contenders Stan & Ollie and Welcome to Marwen could become late-breaking contenders.