FBC Oscar Coverage, Part VII: Predicting The Winners, Part 1…

Ok, so normally, I start predicting winners a week earlier, but ya boi caught the COVID and it sucked butt. So, let’s not waste any time and jump right into the sweet, sweet screenwriting categories. This year, I will be brief in my remarks about what films should have been nominated, as I gave you my thoughts on the matter a few weeks ago.

So, let’s begin…

Best Original Screenplay

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees Of Inisherin
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner, The Fabelmans
Todd Field, Tár
Ruben Östland, Triangle Of Sadness

WHO WILL (AND WHO SHOULD) WIN? There seem to be two truths with this year’s Oscars, and the first one of them is that the chief front-runner is Everything Everywhere All At Once. Because of that, I see the screenplay Oscar being a pure lock for the writing/directing team known as Daniels, who gave us one of the most inventive and original scripts of the past few years. Original Screenplay is also usually where the Academy awards a weirder film, and no film was as weird or as wonderful. However, the film also has the heart and emotion to balance out how quirky it can be.

UPSET SPECIAL: You know how I said there are two truths to this year? The second seems to be that if there’s gonna be a big spoiler on Oscar night, it’s gonna be The Banshees Of Inisherin. Martin McDonagh’s tale of broken friendship on the Irish seaside is funny and moving and asks a lot of interesting questions. If the Academy chooses this film over Daniels, it will be heartbreaking, but it’s not like a good film wouldn’t be the winner.

WHO GOT SNUBBED? This year’s screenplay categories both ran deep, and there could be 10-20 films in each category and I wouldn’t be mad. Some really great stuff out there. So, while I’m not mad about Tàr or Triangle Of Sadness being nominated, I would have replaced them with the taut and tense Kimi and the emotional and deeply moving Aftersun.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell, All Quiet On The Western Front
Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Kazuo Ishiguro, Living
Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren SInger and Christopher McQuarrie, Top Gun: Maverick
Sarah Polley, Women Talking

WHO WILL WIN?: Much like the Original Screenplay category, this feels like a two-horse race. I think the film with the most heat is going to end up winning, and that would be All Quiet On The Western Front. At one point, this film felt like a lock for International Feature and maybe some technical prizes, but strong showings in major indicators have led people to question whether this harrowing war film could be a Best Picture spoiler. It has one of the most heart-wrenching looks at war to open a film, and doesn’t exactly take it’s foot off the brake. I predict a nice night for this film, at least in this category.

WHO SHOULD WIN?: Rian Johnson’s script for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is not only better than the first film (also nominated for a screenplay Oscar), it felt like he had a crystal ball and was able to see what would be happening in social media right as the film had its’ scheduled release. Johnson, who is also killing it as the executive producer and co-creator of Peacock’s Poker Face, does such an amazing job not only having us ask, “Who did it?” but also having us wonder, “Who did what, exactly?” It’s too fun for the notoriously stuffy Academy, but it’s my clear winner.

UPSET SPECIAL: Where All Quiet hit its peak at exactly the right moments, Sarah Polley’s impressive Women Talking felt like it was just barely holding on to its nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. I was pleasantly surprised to see it get in to both categories (though I removed it from my predictions at the last minute), so maybe that means it has enough juice to take down the prize for its script.

WHO GOT SNUBBED?: I wanted the Academy to go super-weird, wacky and wonderful and include films like Beavis & Butthead Do The Universe, Three Thousand Years Of Longing, and Confess, Fletch. I would have put those three in over All Quiet, Living, and Women Talking.

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