Best Screenplay Oscar Predictions Update: A Look at Both the Adapted and Original Categories

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2014 Oscar Predictions: Adapted and Original Screenplay
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Today’s 2014 Oscar update takes a look at predictions for the Best Adapted and Original Screenplay categories, both of which have a solid line-up of scripts vying for award attention.

The Original category has obvious contenders such as Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis), Peter Morgan (Rush) and David O. Russell who teamed with Eric Singer for his American Hustle screenplay.

However, the category has plenty more to consider beyond the obvious such as Sue Smith and Kelly Marcel’s work on Saving Mr. Banks, a script that has been praised and a film I’ve heard is quite good, Danny Strong‘s Lee Daniels’ The Butler will obviously remain part of the conversation for the duration and Bob Nelson‘s Nebraska screenplay has a bit of an uphill battle at the moment, but don’t expect it to be forgotten.

I’m personally curious to start hearing reactions to Spike Jonze‘s Her, Cormac McCarthy‘s The Counselor and I really wonder if J.C. Chandor‘s All is Lost screenplay can get any attention or if dialogue free and 30 pages of prose is just too high concept for the Academy’s writers branch to support.

For now, here’s my top five in the category, but you can click here to see my full list of 20 ranked contenders.

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

Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar PredictionsIn the Best Adapted Screenplay category it’s a really strong top ten, though John Ridley‘s 12 Years a Slave seems the obvious front-runner for now, though I have high expectations for Steve Conrad‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Billy Ray‘s Captain Phillips. After that, however, it’s anybody’s ball game.

Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope‘s screenplay for Philomena is light and refreshing while at the same time highly dramatic and I am really curious to see if Sony Classics can reignite conversation surrounding Before Midnight, after all, nine years ago Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke received a nomination for Before Sunset, why not once again?

Then you have Foxcatcher, August: Osage County, The Monuments Men, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Book Thief to consider.

On a side note, while I ousted Josh Singer‘s screenplay for The Fifth Estate from my predictions, WikiLeaks has posted the screenplay in its entirety and posted an internal memo about the film calling the movie “irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful”. Once the studios start releasing the official screenplays for consideration I will begin linking to them, but for now this is the first I have to offer you.

For now, my top five looks as follows, but you can click here to browse my full list of 18 ranked contenders.

  1. 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
  2. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Steve Conrad)
  3. Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
  4. Philomena (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope)
  5. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke)