Saturday, January 12, 2019

Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 22nd. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories.

Last year’s nominees: The Big Sick, Get Out, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My choices: Coming in February!

This year’s locks: The Favourite, Green Book

Very likely: Vice

Possible: A Quiet Place, Eighth Grade, Roma, First Reformed

Unlikely: Sorry to Bother You, Isle of Dogs, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The rundown: The Writers Guild of America list is the best indicator for this race, though it’s important to note that The Favourite wasn’t eligible and therefore obviously wasn’t nominated. There’s no reason to expect that it won’t make the cut at the Oscars, however, joined by recent Golden Globe victor Green Book. All indicators are that no last-minute backlash against Vice will pop up given each guild’s embrace of the film. It’s probably ill-advised to predict that the film I anticipate dominating the Oscars, Roma, will miss out here despite nominations from both the Globes and WGA, but I have one historical statistic on my side – “Titanic” won 11 Oscars yet followed the same trajectory, missing out on a screenplay bid despite the important precursors. I’m hedging my bets instead on the other two WGA choices, two films that may end up only being recognized in this race, A Quiet Place and Eighth Grade. Most are expecting First Reformed to get in here, but it’s missed out on so many important precursors even with a number of critical wins. Sorry to Bother You is another dark horse, while previous screenwriting nominees could propel Isle of Dogs or The Ballad of Buster Scruggs to enough votes to crack this category. Also watch out for foreign film Cold War, which earned screenplay and director bids from BAFTA.

One possible crazy scenario: One of my favorite films of the year, which has earned debut screenwriting nominations for Cory Finley, gets a wholly shocking but very deserved mention for Thoroughbreds.

Forecasted winner: I think that The Favourite ultimately scores this trophy.

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