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Oscar nominations are revealed on the 10th.  I’m taking a look at the state of the race for the big eight categories.  This time: Adapted Screenplay.

VIRTUAL LOCK

  • Tony Kushner, Lincoln
  • Chris Terrio, Argo

Kushner’s script isn’t my favorite of the bunch, but he does an impressive job cramming in a ton of characters and making a Congressional vote compelling.  It is hard to see how he could miss here.  Similarly, Terrio does a great job creating tension in a story with a lot of moving parts and (like Kushner) in a story where we already know the ending.

GOOD BET

  • David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

I wouldn’t.  I thought the script had a number of problems, which I won’t get into here.  Silver Linings Playbook‘s buzz has seemingly waned maybe a little bit recently, but only a fool bets against the Weinsteins.

LIKELY IN

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Ben Lewin, The Sessions
  • William Nicholson, Les Miserables
  • David Magee, Life of Pi
  • Ol Parker, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I’ve got Beast of the Southern Wild at home from Netflix, so I can’t comment on it quite yet.  If you are rooting for it, you have to be worried that it missed on the Spirit Award screenplay nomination.  Chbosky adapted his own work, which seems like a little bit different situation to me.  It has picked up some heat lately by hitting on precursors.  It would be on my ballot, may just come down to how many voters saw it in time.  I wouldn’t put Ben Lewin’s script on mine, and one wonders if the film came out a little too early.  That said, the film did feel fresh and it does have the feeling of a film that could get the fifth spot.  Les Miserables is essentially an opera, and terrible, so it has an uphill battle, but if voters loved it, they could fill out their ballot with nothing but nominees from the film.  Life of Pi has a good shot at a Best Picture slot, but the accolades are generally falling on the direction and the visuals.  I really don’t understand the love for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but it exists, and plays to the demographics of the Academy.

DARK HORSES

  • John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade, Skyfall
  • Tom Stoppard, Anna Karenina

Logan, Purvis, and Wade certainly turned in a different sort of Bond script.  The film appears to be getting some traction, so a nomination wouldn’t be out of the question, especially if there are a lot of frustrated fans of The Dark Knight.  Anna Karenina seems like a good bet for some of the technical categories, which means that people have seen it, and Tom Stoppard does already have an Oscar nomination for Brazil and a win for Shakespeare in Love.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED

  • Michael Bacall, 21 Jump Street
  • Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises
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