Updated 2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay

Excerpt from John Ridley's screenplay for 12 Years a Slave
Excerpt from John Ridley’s screenplay for 12 Years a Slave
Photo: Fox Searchlight

And now we reach the screenplays, two categories that have yet to really sort themselves out yet. If I had my picks I’d be propping up the likes of Spike Jonze‘s screenplay for Her, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack Dallas Buyers Club and J.C. Chandor‘s All is Lost along with a selection of predicted nominees below such as Inside Llewyn Davis, Before Midnight and August: Osage County.

Of course, I don’t nominate these things and my taste doesn’t much matter. However, I’m still just spit-balling with these two categories so for now this is the best I can offer. Though if you’re inclined to read a selection of more than 20 of the Oscar contending screenplays competing this year just click here and take your pick.

As for these two categories, I’ve detailed my opinion below along with links to browse my complete, ranked field of contenders plus a couple download links where applicable.

Also, be sure to stay up-to-date with my Awards Calendar as the Los Angeles Film Critics will hand out their awards this Sunday, December 8 and next week on December 11 and 12 we’ll have the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations.

Adapted Screenplay

This is such a weird category to me, but that’s probably only because so many of this year’s top contenders come from original products as three of the Best Picture contenders are likely to find a nomination here while the likes of Before Midnight and August: Osage County round out the nominees. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope‘s Philomena screenplay definitely stands a chance, but at this time I don’t see much of a race.

  1. John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) [Download the Screenplay]
  2. Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  3. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight) [Download the Screenplay]
  4. Billy Ray (Captain Phillips)
  5. Tracy Letts (August: Osage County)

Find my complete, ranked list of 13 contenders right here.

Original Screenplay

The Original Screenplay category is decidedly more difficult than Adapted as the race is sure to sort itself out a little as more and more precursor awards sort of help form something of a guiding consensus, but for now it seems to me American Hustle is going to have a tough go of it as it certainly isn’t the #1 screenplay out there. I think more and more love will be found for the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis script and it just seems to me Nebraska is going to continue to rise.

The toughest one to edge out of the top five was Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón‘s Gravity screenplay, which I will likely move back into the top five in a couple weeks and, at the same time, move American Hustle out completely, but that win with the New York critics keeps Hustle hanging on… for now.

  1. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
  2. Bob Nelson (Nebraska)
  3. Sue Smith and Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks)
  4. Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
  5. Eric Singer and David O. Russell (American Hustle)

Find my complete, ranked list of 20 contenders right here.

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