So, we’ll continue our breakdown of the top eight categories and where I personally see the race ATM with considering the Screenplays. I’m going to just lump these two together, since I can and, well, why not. We still have WGA to account for, which will come next month, but for now we can really see a narrowing down beginning, especially in Adapted Screenplay (where, like, there is such a lack of real contenders), so we might as well give this a go.
Let’s start with Adapted Screenplay, since it’s the easiest to weed through.
|It looks like the writers branch may be smart enough to GET this script!|
I think the perma-lock right now is Gone Girl. It has landed nearly everywhere, and has won more than any other by a HUGE amount. With 14 mentions and 8 wins, the closest competitor at this point is Inherent Vice, with 9 mentions and 2 wins (it’s the only other screenplay here to win anything). Inherent Vice isn’t even a secure Oscar nom at this point, so that says a lot. Truth is, many critics bodies don’t differentiate between Original and Adapted, and so that is why there is such a dearth of contenders here. Most critics have one Screenplay category, and most of them have awarded one of the three main competitors in the Original Screenplay category (more on that later).
But Gone Girl, at least here, seems way out in front, even if I don’t think it’s going to actually win the Oscar.
1) Gone Girl
Next up, we have the two biopics with the most buzz, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything. Both of them, in my eyes, have a clearer shot at winning the Oscar, based solely on the fact that they are biopics, and AMPAS salivates all over that stuff. Neither has won anything, and I don’t think either will until BAFTA, especially since Globes have a singular category for screenplays and will most likely give it to one of the Originals. BAFTA will be a deciding moment for this category, to be completely honest. Even WGA won’t really mean much, since The Theory of Everything isn’t eligible. I think Gone Girl takes WGA at this point, anyways.
2) The Imitation Game
3) The Theory of Everything
Then, who knows. American Sniper underperformed, The Fault in Our Stars is too teen, Snowpiercer is too weird…and that leaves us with Inherent Vice, Unbroken and Wild, all of which have major detractors as well as some pros, the major pro for all being the fact that this category is empty as fuck. I think that Wild feels like a right fit here, but I also feel like Unbroken is getting that filler BP spot, and wouldn’t it need some more support to validate that, and this feels like where it could garner that support. I’m actually most confident in Inherent Vice, which I think is just going to miss the BP lineup (I have it in 10th, and I’ve said I believe we’ll have 9 nominees), and it has felt all year to me like that lone Screenplay nom. It also, like I mentioned above, is the only screenplay to snag wins away from Gone Girl at this point. For now, I’m thinking too many hands in the pot strikes Unbroken out of the race, but I’m not 100%.
4) Inherent Vice
|Fisti, you BITCH, you said we'd win this thing!|
And we’re going to lose The Fault in Our Stars from the Award’s Tally Page. Snowpiercer was never on there because I never felt it would ever make a real impact, and while it has certainly had a few mentions, it is just not AMPAS cup of tea, and so I won’t be adding it. If he snags a WGA mention, I’ll consider putting it up, but for now, I don’t think it’s in the running. I’m keeping American Sniper for now, even though I highly doubt it has the legs to get Oscar attention.
Now, let’s look at the highly competitive Original Screenplay category!
How’s this for a contrast. Where Adapted only had 8 contenders I even took seriously for a moment in time (and only 7 remain, with one of them pretty much there for kicks), Original Screenplay has 16 current contenders (I’m about to narrow that down quite a bit) with three mortal locks, all of which are in serious hunt for the Oscar. In fact, those three are so neck and neck for the actual Oscar win, that the only way I can rank them is to just rank their actual wins.
2) The Grand Budapest Hotel
|I'll fight all of you for this Oscar!|
Seriously, Birdman has 8 wins and 17 individual nominations. The Grand Budapest Hotel has 7 wins and 16 individual nominations. Boyhood only has 1 win, but it has 15 individual nominations and is the BP frontrunner, so it is most certainly in the hunt for the Oscar win. I have no clue who is going to win this, like at all. Reasoning could go any which way. Boyhood could be seen as a lock for the win, solely on the fact that the film is screenplay based and if it wins BP it would need this win to validate that decision. But Birdman is one of those quirky, dialog driven character studies, and Oscar loves those. It is also arguably runner up in BP and this could be seen as a consolation prize for Inarritu. But, if any film is really, truly, ALL ABOUT the screenplay, it is The Grand Budapest Hotel, and it just feels so…writerly. It hasn’t a shot at winning BP, which is a thorn in its side here, but remember that this category often favors the quirky, wordy screenplays.
Then we have Selma, which has not gotten much (only 2 noms, no wins) but is poised to reap many nominations on Oscar nomination morning, and so I’m pretty confident it gets in here. If it misses a screenplay nom, then there is no way it wins the Oscar. I mean, I don’t think it’s winning anyways, but this seems like a given nomination. It’s a biopic about an important man and an important time in history. It may have flaws (don’t they all?) but I don’t see it missing, despite its current poor showing.
And last, we have the fight of the indies. Nightcrawler is making a mad dash for Oscar love, with a slew of recent mentions and wins. Right now it has 7 mentions and 2 wins. Whiplash has been consistent all season though, managing 10 noms and 1 win. And A Most Violent Year is written by a former surprise nominee in this category, so we can’t count that one out, and Mr. Turner could have a massive British vote coming it’s way, so we need to consider that as well. I’m mostly intrigued to see if The LEGO Movie can sustain early buzz in this category and sneak out a nomination. It would be so bizarre and yet SO richly deserved.
Right now, I’m sticking with…
|It's gonna be a bloodbath!|
Who am I taking out? Top Five, Pride, Ida, Calvary, Big Eyes, Two Days, One Night and Love is Strange. Not going to happen this year.