Oscar nominees are announced on the 25th.  Yay!  So let’s summarize what we (the royal we, at least) know.  Keeping in mind, of course, that when it comes to the Academy, no one knows anything.  Especially me.  This time: Best Original Screenplay.

VIRTUAL LOCKS

  • David Seidler, The King’s Speech
  • Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right
  • Christopher Nolan, Inception

Seidler is a great story.  He’s over seventy years old with no major features to his credit and has been chasing this film much of his life.  Plus, it is a heck of a script, an Oscar bait movie that exceeds expectations.  I personally don’t understand the love for The Kids Are All Right.  But the script has been nearly universally praised, and there’s a palpable feeling that the Academy wants to recognize Cholodenko‘s voice.  Let’s make one thing clear: Inception isn’t nearly as deep as people seem to be making it out to be.  I think they actually mean Memento.  Nolan‘s script, though, is big and bold and most of its misses are noble failures.  I’m a sucker for intellectual sci-fi thrillers, so I’ll be pretty happy to see one get nominated here.

LAST TWO IN

  • Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John J. McLaughlin, Black Swan
  • Mike Leigh, Another Year

You may want to have a fire extinguisher on hand for anyone who claims to know the final two spots in this category, because their pants are surely on fire.  Black Swan is a psychological horror flick that crossed into the mainstream and Oscar because of the big names associated with it.  I was under the impression that people generally thought Heyman, Heinz, and McLaughlin‘s script was the movie’s weak spot, but it has been nominated for everything and the film is en fuego.  Mike Leigh has six Oscar nominations, four of which were for original screenplays.  So yeah, I’m not going to count him out until he misses.

FIRST ALTERNATE

  • Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, The Fighter

I’m now on the record expressing how much I disliked The Fighter‘s script.  So maybe my bias is placing this film on the wrong side of the line.  It has every shot at getting a nomination.  Which would mean the guy who wrote Air Bud would be Oscar-nominated.  Just sayin’.

DARK HORSES

  • Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis, Blue Valentine
  • Nicole Holofcener, Please Give

The Academy has a pretty well-established trend of using a slot in this category for a smaller film.  If that spot isn’t filled by Another Year, look for the gritty Blue Valentine or sublime Please Give to sneak in.

SHOULDA BEEN A CONTENDER

  • Sean Anders, John Morris, She’s Out Of My League
  • Nicholas Fackler, Lovely, Still
  • Jacob Tierney, The Trotsky
  • Raymond De Felitta, City Island
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