Thursday, March 19, 2009

"One Category at a Time" - Best Adapted Screenplay

It's always easier to predict this category a year in advance because you can always go on the prestige of the source material, and there's no shortage of baity adaptations this year:

As always, the Academy loves a good biopic (although actually good biopics are becoming harder to come by these days), giving an automatic edge to Ronald Bass for Amelia based on the life of Amelia Airhart, to Anthony Peckham for adapting John Carlin's book on Nelson Mandela, and to Michael Mann et. al. for Public Enemies from Bryan Burrough's book of the same name. Don't count out James Schamus' adaptation for Taking Woodstock, which, while not a biopic in the strictest sense, is still based on true events, and Ang Lee's lyrical film-making style has a tendency to get the writers noticed.

If you're looking to add some fiction to your list, consider Christopher Hampton for the slightly whimsical costume drama Cheri, Jason Reitman for the indie-comedyish Up in the Air, Peter Jackson et. al. for the surreal though gut-wrenching The Lovely Bones, Julie Taymor for Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Anthony Minghella & Michael Tolkin for the psychologically complex musical Nine. it is worth noting that musicals don't often get mentioned here, but the last one that did (Chicago) was also directed by Rob Marshall, and this could the Academy's last chance to honour the late Anthony Minghella.

Predicted Five:
The Lovely Bones
The Untitled Nelson Mandela Project
Taking Woodstock

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