Best Original Screenplay
This year, the predicted frontrunner in the Best Original Screenplay race is Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained.” But with such a strong category, it could really be anyone’s game. The weakest link is definitely John Gatins’ script for “Flight,” and Mark Boal already won a Writer’s Guild Award for his script for “Zero Dark Thirty,” an award “Django” was ineligible for. It is unlikely that the Academy will be so quick to reward Boal again after his recent win for “The Hurt Locker” (2009).
“Amour” could easily snag the award — at the moment it stands as the biggest threat to “Django.” It would be wonderful to see Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola take home the statue for “Moonrise Kingdom,” but the chances of the duo winning are slim to none. Ultimately, “Django” seems like the obvious choice, with “Amour” trailing closely behind. Tarantino has not won since “Pulp Fiction” in 1994, so a win for “Django” would be well-deserved.
- Jeremy Pick
Best Adapted Screenplay
Everyone knows that Tony Kushner’s “Lincoln” is going to win Best Adapted Screenplay. Kushner’s script richly renders the trials and tribulations of political lawmaking in an epic yet subtle narrative that, in the hands of the wrong writer, could have gone horribly awry. Even the dialogue in “Lincoln,” which had the potential to induce sleep, is crisp and almost shockingly beautiful.
Yet, there is another Adapted Screenplay nominee that, despite being the exact opposite, may be more worthy. Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is even riper than “Lincoln.” It is full of bombastic passion and magical realist moments that brought many viewers to tears. Of course, it’s never easy to compare two movies that are so wildly different, “Lincoln” and “Beasts” are just about as opposite as movies could be. But simply by virtue of being unique, “Beasts” is a more deserving opponent — and an obvious loser.
- Alex Greenberger
Jeremy Pick is a contributing writer. Alex Geenberger is entertainment editor. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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