The Rundown 2011: Original Screenplay / Adapted Screenplay

For our sixteenth Rundown article, we originate and we adapt. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay as well as general commentary about the race. Tomorrow, we’ll cover the stragglers.

Best Original Screenplay

Winner Predictions

  • The Artist (O)
  • Bridesmaids
  • Margin Call
  • Midnight in Paris (O) (O)
  • A Separation

Runner-Up Predictions

  • The Artist (R) (R)
  • A Separation (R)

(color and symbol key at bottom of page)

Wesley Lovell: The top 6 categories may not have many horse races, but Best Original Screenplay is shaping up that way. Facing off for the win are three films whose chances are bolstered by several factors. The Artist has Best Picture frontrunner credentials, Midnight in Paris has career tribute written all over it and A Separation has cachet (and the only opportunity some voters may have of recognizing the film if they can’t get out to see it at the theater per Academy Rules) and a ton of precursors. In the end, I think it really comes down to Woody Allen versus Artist scribe Michel Hazanavicius. A lot depends on just how much support The Artist has. And with its track record with the guilds, I’d say it has a fairly strong case to be made for victory. Yet, Woody’s an icon and hasn’t won many of these prizes, so they could give him an award as a type of career recognition. I keep going back and forth on this one between The Artist and Midnight in Paris and although I think Hazanavicius could claim the prize in a sweep, the fact that Woody’s film, a Best Picture nominee, has no chance at an Oscar anywhere else, this could be the one place the Academy chooses to recognize the film. Few Best Picture nominees go home empty handed each year, though this may be one of the rare cases that more than a couple do (right now it seems Moneyball and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close are the only ones, but there could be others). So, for now, I’m going with Woody, though I might change my mind before Oscar night.

Peter J. Patrick: A Separation could provide an upset, but I think this one will go to the Best Picture front-runner, The Artist.

Tripp Burton: For being the most nominated screenwriter of all time, Woody Allen has only won twice, and his last win was over a quarter-century ago. I think that a lot of Hollywood wants to give him another trophy, and this is a great opportunity to do it, for a film that a lot of people really love. However, Woody also has to compete with the behemoth that is The Artist. In the end, the Americanized version of 1920s France will probably win it’s token trophy of the evening over the Frenchified version of 1920s America.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner Predictions

  • The Descendents (O) (O) (New)(R)
  • Hugo
  • The Ides of March
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Moneyball (R) (R) (R)

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Wesley Lovell: Could there be a more clear cut winner? Probably, but this seems to be the only opportunity the Academy will reasonably have of feting Alexander Payne and, like his previous Oscar Best Picture nominee Sideways, it will be shafted in Best Picture for an entirely different picture. Hugo needs to win this one in order to feel like a Best Picture alternative to The Artist, but in the end, Payne holds all the cards and I think he’s sitting on a Royal Flush.

Peter J. Patrick: I really didn’t care for either, but they both have their share of partisans so it will be one or the other.

Tripp Burton: The Descendants seemed like a film whose moment had passed a few weeks ago, but 3 big wins this weekend has put it back in the competition. Two of those wins were in this category, and it is the Academy’s best chance to honor Alexander Payne for a film that a lot of people still love, backlash aside. The runner-up is Moneyball, but Aaron Sorkin won last year for another “unfilmable” adaptation. Back-to-back wins are always hard to come by.

KEY:

Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton
(New) = New Prediction
(O) = Original, Post-Nomination Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series Prediction

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