Friday, February 13, 2009

"One Category at a Time" - Best Original Screenplay

This is always my favourite category, because you can always count on the writer's to be more open to works that are decidedly original, often nominating scripts that are too brilliant to make a run for Best Picture.

Case in point; the nomination for WALL-E, which is not only the best of this year's class, but one of the best screenplays of the last several years. Some have made the case that it can actually win, but I remain skeptical. After all, every Academy member can vote, and there are too many reel geezers who will automatically dismiss WALL-E on the basis of its animated format. Ludicrous.

More likely to win is Dustin Lance Black for his smart and moving script for Milk, because it's the only Best Picture nominee of the five. Since Andrew Stanton will already win an Oscar in Animated Feature, I can't really bitch about this too much. Milk is a worthy winner.

Pleasant surprises come in the form of In Bruges and Happy-Go-Lucky. Martin MacDonagh's dark and zingy screenplay for the former is certainly deserving of the nomination, and it's satisfying to see Mike Leigh get some acknowledgment for crafting one of the year's finest films (although I would much rather nominate him for director).

Ideally, I would replace Frozen River and Happy-Go-Lucky with The Visitor and The Wrestler, but I have no problem with these five nominees.

Will win: Milk
Should win: WALL-E

Thus concludes my "One Category at a Time" analysis for the 2008 Academy Awards. My craft category predictions are likely to change a bit when the guilds start announcing this weekend, so I'll post an official set of predictions just before Oscar night.

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