Friday, February 23, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

The competition: The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani), Get Out (Jordan Peele), Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig), The Shape of Water (Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

Previous winners: Manchester by the Sea, Spotlight, Birdman, Her, Django Unchained, Midnight in Paris, The King’s Speech
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Del Toro was nominated in this category a decade ago for “Pan’s Labyrinth.” McDonagh was nominated in this race for “In Bruges” in 2008 and won the live action short film prize for “Six Shooter” in 2005. Peele and Del Toro are also nominated as producers and directors of their films, McDonagh contends as a producer, and Gerwig is up for her directing. Only “The Big Sick” is not nominated for Best Picture. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which wasn’t eligible for WGA, won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, while “Get Out,” which wasn’t cited by Globe voters at all, took the WGA and the Critics’ Choice Award.

Who should win: I wasn’t too fond of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” though I’d admit that its dialogue was sharp. “Get Out” is a clever concept, but I’d argue that the actual script isn’t worthy of nearly as much praise as it’s getting. “The Shape of Water” is a lovely story and the writing is wonderful, and the same is true of “Lady Bird.” My favorite, however, is “The Big Sick,” a winning comedic drama that succeeds on so many levels starting with the screenplay penned by the real-life couple that inspired it.

Who will win: I can only hope for a vote-split scenario that results in a victory for “Lady Bird,” but at this point I think that Get Out is bolstered by momentum and will eclipse “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

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