Monday, January 12, 2015

Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 15th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska

This year’s locks: Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood

Very likely: Nightcrawler

Possible: A Most Violent Year, Foxcatcher, The Lego Movie, Selma

Unlikely: Mr. Turner, Begin Again

The rundown: The WGA list includes “Whiplash,” which was initially in this category but has been officially classified as adapted by Oscar rules. That means there’s one spot officially open, which will surely go to Birdman, which wasn’t eligible for WGA. It will join The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood, which are also locks. Nightcrawler seems to be very popular and I’m pretty sure it will get recognized here, if not plenty of other places. I’m less confident about the chances of Foxcatcher, the final WGA nominee. The Lego Movie could show up here, as could Selma, a frontrunner in most other categories but less likely to place in this race. Mike Leigh has earned a handful of nominations in this category before and might do so again for Mr. Turner, whose awards circuit performance has been lackluster at best. I’m betting on one of my favorite films of the year instead, A Most Violent Year, whose screenwriter, J.C. Chandor, was nominated in this category three years ago for “Margin Call.”

One possible crazy scenario: I’d be thrilled if Interstellar managed to show up for a mostly terrific script and earn a nomination in a category that isn’t purely technical.

Forecasted winner: I think it will be Birdman.

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