Best Original Screenplay
It's been a weak year for original screenplays that have received a lot of coverage. Smaller films have had phenomenal screenplays (Goodbye Solo, Sugar, Moon, etc.), they don't exactly have much of a shot of getting nominated. So let's get into it.
BOB PETERSON - UP
~Pixar may finally win this category this year, though it has some tough competition from the other heavyweights in this category. Although I felt WALL-E deserves its nomination/potential win may more than this one, it's hard to deny that Up will get nominated. I've alluded to this before: it seems like everyone loved Up except me.
MARK BOAL - THE HURT LOCKER
~Or they might give the award to this film, which definitely deserves it more. The screenplay leaves you barely any room to breathe when it's ratcheting up the tension, and when it's not doing that, it's developing the characters as they should be developed. Bravo.
JOEL COEN AND ETHAN COEN - A SERIOUS MAN
~Probably my favorite of the three, A Serious Man features a new spin on the Coen brothers style: dark humor, bizarre characters, intelligent and well-thought-out themes, and a wtf ending. I'm not sure if they'll win, given that this category's very hard to predict. Who thought In Bruges would get a nomination when Vicky Christina Barcelona had all but won the award?
RAMIN BAHRANI - GOODBYE SOLO
~I'm putting it here because people need to start talking about it. A grassroots campaign needs to occur for this film to even get talked about and consider me the father of the movement. Maybe an Oscar voter out there will read this topic and think, "Oh yeah, that was a good screenplay!" Then comes the water cooler situation. .... *sigh* Dare to dream, I suppose. Goodbye Solo is my second favorite film of the year; I want to see it get the accolades it deserves.
QUENTIN TARANTINO - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
~I can see Tarantino getting thrown a bone here. It's weird given the wildcard nature of the film, but the screenplay is more than worthy to get noticed, so long as Tarantino didn't HANDWRITE it. Seriously, has anyone seen his chicken scratch excuse for penmanship? It's pathetic!
SCOTT NEUSTADTER AND MICHAEL H. WEBER - (500) DAYS OF SUMMER
~The most unconventional romantic comedy in a long time has a decent shot at a slot. We'll see what happens, I suppose.
JANE CAMPION - BRIGHT STAR
~As far as writing writing goes, this is the best of the year, given that it's poetic and British and whatnot. Given the nature of its box office downfall, however, it's hard to say whether or not we have a true contender on our hands.
JAMES CAMERON - AVATAR
~I don't know about this one. If he couldn't get nominated for Titanic, then I'm not sure how much of a shot he has here.
NEILL BLOMKAMP AND TERRI TETCHELL - DISTRICT 9
~I'd call it worthy, but I'm not sure if the science fiction bias is going to prevent it from greatness here.
MICHAEL HANEKE AND JEAN-CLAUDE CARRIERE - THE WHITE RIBBON
~Call it a longshot/dark horse if you want. Every now and again a foreign film makes its way in here. Maybe it'll be the winner of the Palme D'Or.
And that's it. I'm not going to consider The Messenger and Broken Embraces viable choices (though I may eat my words later).
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Bob Peterson - Up
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Jane Campion - Bright Star