Sunday, February 10, 2019

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

The competition: The Favourite (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara), First Reformed (Paul Schrader), Green Book (Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, and Nick Vallelonga), Roma (Alfonso Cuaron), Vice (Adam McKay)

Previous winners: Get Out, Manchester by the Sea, Spotlight, Birdman, Her, Django Unchained, Midnight in Paris
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!
The facts: Cuaron has contended for screenwriting twice, for “Y Tu Mama Tambien” in 2001 and “Children of Men” in 2006, and, in addition to a 2013 directing win for “Gravity,” he is also nominated this year for directing, producing, and shooting his film. McKay won in 2015 for his screenplay for “The Big Short” and is also nominated this year for directing and producing his film. All three of the writers from “Green Book” are also nominated as producers of the film. Despite penning the screenplays for “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull,” this is Schrader’s first nomination, along with both writers from “The Favourite.” Only five foreign-language entries have ever won this award, the most recent of which was “Talk to Her” in 2002. Four films in the past fifteen years have triumphed without a corresponding Best Picture nomination, and the last of those was “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” That would apply only to “First Reformed” this year, with this bid serving as its only nomination.

Who should win: I had problems with “Vice” and don’t think it’s worth rewarding this obnoxious script. I didn’t love “First Reformed” nearly as much as anyone else I talked to, and a win here would not make me happy. “Roma” is good, but I don’t think the script is its strongest asset. “Green Book” is delightful and enjoyable, and the writing is indeed strong. Nothing compares, though, to “The Favourite,” an extremely witty and entertaining life brought to life in part by its fabulous screenplay.
Who will win: This could go any number of ways. I don’t see “First Reformed” having a shot, even though it won the Critics’ Choice Award. “Vice” is divisive, but obviously it was popular enough to merit every major nomination it could have. “Roma” might get swept up by love for the film and win here, but I don’t see it. “Green Book,” which took home the Golden Globe, is probably the smart pick, but I’m going with nominations co-leader The Favourite instead.

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