Saturday, January 9, 2016

Oscar Predictions Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay 2016

Even the screenplay categories are tough to predict this year, and it's tough to use the Writer's Guild Awards as a bench mark because they disqualify so many potential contenders.  Let's use BAFTA as a benchmark, with statistics.

If you look at the Original Screenplay from BAFTA last year, every nominee recieved an Oscar nomination, although Whiplash competed in Adapted at the Oscars.  Foxcatcher replaced it in the Original Screenplay category, which makes sense since Dan Futterman has been nominated previously for Capote, with Benntt Miller.

The year before three films matched: American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, and Nebraska. Gravity, and Inside Llewyn Davis mad the cut at BAFTA, they were replaced at the Oscars by Her and Dallas Buyers Club, two films which did poorly at BAFTA,  Her went on to win the Oscar, and was a Best Picture nominee. Dallas Buyers Club made out like a bandit with nominations, the most shocking was an editing nomination.

In an unpredictable year, these statistic could mean nothing, but there are tea leaves in place, and those center on broader support.  BAFTA can be helpful, but a trend you will see is that there are some films that Americans just like better or vice versa.

How helpful is this year's WGA? Not very, too many films were deemed ineligible in Original Screenplay, including: The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Ex Machina, and Son of Saul.  The nominees are: Bridge of Spies, Sicario, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton, and Trainwreck.

All five of those films have a shot at being nominated in Original Screenplay, two years ago the WGA matched all five nominees in Original Screenplay exactly, but last year the eventual winner (Birdman) was not eligible at the WGA. So where does this leave predictors?

Spotlight appears to be the only lock.  I think Bridge of Spies falls second and is the next safest bet, it was nominated at BAFTA, and WGA, it also has the Coens attached as screen writers.  While some will argue this did not help Inside Llewyn Davis, the difference is there is broader support for Spies. I think The Hateful Eight runs third, the film does not have broad support, outside of consistently being nominated in screenplay categories, voters love Tarantino here; he has two wins.

After this there are four films which could fill the next spots, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Sicario, and Straight Outta Compton.  I just do not see Trainwreck happening, sadly.

I am ranking Inside Out fourth, no animated film has been nominated her since Toy Story 3, but I think this film has enough love to make this happen.  Pete Doctor also three other Oscar nominations in screen writing for Toy Story, Wall-E, and Up.

I think fifth place is between Ex Machina, and Sicario.   Ex Machina feels like a film the writers branch the Academy will vote for, while Sicario feels like a film that will get more technical nominations.  My hunch is pushing me toward Ex Machina, and I am sticking with that hunch.

My Original Screenplay Predictions
2-Bridge of Spies
3-The Hateful Eight
4-Inside Out
5-Ex Machina

Adapted Screenplay is usually pretty easy, but there are always some curve balls, and snubs that just do not make sense, like Gone Girl being snubbed at the Oscars last year.  The placement of Whiplash was one of things that caused the Gone Girl snub.

Two years ago, four of the films matched at BAFTA, Behind the Candleabra (which aired on HBO in the States) showed up at BAFTA, and Before Midnight replaced it at the Oscars. 12 Years a Slave and Philomena were not eligible at PGA this year

Last year 3 of the BAFTA nominees in this category went on to be nominated at the Oscars (in this category): American Sniper, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything.  Only two of those films of those films were nominated at WGA, Theory was ineligible.

Gone Girl was nominated at BAFTA, and WGA, which had middling guild support, which could be a bad sign for Carol, because the films seem to have similar support, they are very different films though, which changes the game.

The biggest lock is in fact a film with a "big" title, The Big Short, which will most likely win this category at the Oscars.  Predicting the next 4 is tough, and beyond explanation, just more about gut.  I just changed my number five pick (swapping it with Brooklyn) because Trumbo has a lot of support, and it's a film about screen writers being black listed in Hollywood, it seems too obvious.  The next films in line would be: Brooklyn. Anamolisa , and The Martian.

My Adapted Screenplay Predictions
1-The Big Short
3-Steve Jobs

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