Ok, with nominations out and the Oscars a little over a week away, let’s knock out some predictions. I’ll be focusing on predictions for what I call the “Big 8” categories (Best Picture, Best Director, and all acting and screenplay categories). Let’s get predicty!
Best Original Screenplay
Knives Out (Rian Johnson)
Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)
1917 (Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns)
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
Parasite (Bong Joon-Ho)
Who Will Win? Whoa, baby… this category is STACKED. All of these films finished in my top 20, and I think if I had to give my list of the best original screenplays, 4 of these 5 would be on it. No offense to 1917, but this is the only film which I’m not super sure belongs; it’s a visually masterful movie and I think it’s gonna win a few awards, but this is about the screenplay, and when you strips Sam Mendes’ beautiful film of all of it’s bells and whistles, I don’t think the story itself totally holds up.
To me, this is a three horse race (with all apologies to Rian Johnson, whose Knives Out is so delightful) between Baumbach, Tarantino, and Bong Joon-Ho. I think Quentin Tarantino pulls out the win here.
Who Should Win? If it were up to me, Bong Joon-Ho would be walking away with the statue, and Parasite would be the first film since 2002 to be a foreign-language film winning Best Original Screenplay. It’s a masterpiece which effortlessly changes tones in each of its acts and keeps you simultaneously laughing while on the edge of your seat.
Upset Special? There is a chance that this is going to be a big night for 1917, and if that’s the case, it could carry over into this category as well.
Who Got Snubbed? I have a rule when talking about snubs, which is that if you’re saying a film should be included, it means that there has to be a film which shouldn’t have made it. For me, the screenplay on the outside looking in is Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, the amazing (and mostly true) story of a granddaughter returning to China to visit her sick grandmother while the family has made the decision to not tell the grandmother of her illness. Like Parasite, it mixes comedy and drama seamlessly and leaves you in awe and devestated while laughing all the while. In my world, The Farewell takes 1917‘s place.
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Irishman (Steve Zallian)
Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi)
Joker (Todd Phillips & Scott Silver)
Little Women (Greta Gerwig)
The Two Popes (Anthony McCarten)
Who Will Win? To me, this is another three-horse race, though the quality here is significantly below the Best Original Screenplay category. The Irishman and Jojo Rabbit are both contenders, but I see Greta Gerwig’s Little Women taking home the prize. Do I see some of this as trying to help repair the damage of her not receiving a Best Director nomination? Honestly… yeah, kind of. That’s not to say that this isn’t a wonderful script, because it absolutely is and it deserves the spot on the list. It’s not the Best Director Oscar, but it will have to do for Gerwig.
Who Should Win? The screenplay for Jojo Rabbit is absolutely unlike anything else to make it’s way to the screen this year. Taika Waititi knows how to make a comedy out of Adolf Hitler and the end of World War II, and much like some of the other films I’ve talked about, the strength of this screenplay is the ability to manage tone so effortlessly and wonderfully.
Upset Special? Much like 1917, this year could be a very big year for Martin Scorcese and his latest film The Irishman. If this film is having a big night, do not be surprised to see it take home the screenplay award.
Who Got Snubbed? I’m going to take out Joker. Replacing it the wildly superior Avengers: Endgame, which is an amazing bow that wraps up all of the MCU films which have come before it.
What screenplays do you think will win? Let us know in the comments.