Sorry for using the same picture twice, there was a bit of a technical problem. Anyway, this category is another toss up. Three of the nominees are also up for Best Picture, so it’s only fair to assume that they have the edge. But of those three movies, you could make a case for any of them.
Our first nominee is Amour. Screenwriter Michael Haneke scores his first nomination here, and many are saying that the film could pull of a win here because it’s the most ‘charming’ of the nominees. From what I can remember of the dialogue, it is very true to life, but the problem with the movie is that it tries way too hard to be true to life that it forgets that it’s a movie first. I think that the academy will just have to award the movie in the foreign film category and will use Original Screenplay to award a different film.
A film like Django Unchained. Like Amour, the director performs double duty as a screenwriter, having previously won this award for Pulp Fiction. Not only is this category the best chance the academy will get to award the film, but it would be a well deserving win. The movie has all the witty dialogue and fast paced action that you’d expect from a Tarantino screenplay. The film has won the Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice and the BAFTA’s, so it definitely stands in the best position to win.
The same can’t be said for Flight. The screenplay is written by John Gatins, who scores his first nomination. And seeing how according to IMDB, his greatest achievment to date is writing Real Steel, I’d say that Gatins’ chance of winning is pretty small. Yes, I haven’t seen the film, but I don’t think that’s necessary. The best picture omission doesn’t help much, either.
Arguably the most deserving of the bunch is Moonrise Kingdom, written by Wes Anderson (previously nominated for The Royal Tenenbaums) and Roman Coppola (who earns his first nomination). The screenplay is the foundation for a wonderful world that makes the audience feel that they have stepped inside a picture book. But as good as it is, the lack of a best picture nominee hurts it seriously. There is a lot of buzz surrounding the film, but I think a win here would be unlikely.
Our last nominee is Zero Dark Thirty, written by Mark Boal, who actually beat out Tarantino for this award three years ago for The Hurt Locker. Winning the WGA award, some consider him a frontrunner. However, I think that the film tries more to be a documentary as pose to a three-act story. Don’t completely rule it out, but I’m placing my bets on Django.
Will Win: Django Unchained
Runner’s Up: Zero Dark Thirty
Should Win: Moonrise Kingdom