Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"One Category at a Time" - Best Original Screenplay

This is always trickier to predict than Adapted, but here's a quick list of my early guesses:

Predicted five:

Away We Go: This one has an indie comedy feel to it, and we know the writers branch likes those, plus being directed by Sam Mendes will bring this film some extra attention and prestige. I'm thinking a nomination for co-writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida isn't unreasonable.

500 Days of Summer: This one also has the quirky comedy factor down, and brilliant marketers at Fox Searchlight know how to sell their films for a maximum box office and awards payoff. Co-writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber could be in for a trip to the Kodak if Searchlight handles this project with the same cleverness they handled Lost in Translation, Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, and of course Slumdog Millionaire.

Broken Embraces: The Academy likes Almodovar's movies, awarding him Oscars for All About My Mother and Talk To Her. He has a knack for writing good parts for women, which is also good news for his muse Penelope Cruz (whoa, triple rhyme!).

Up: Pixar is never likely to win this category becaust the animation bias within the Academy is just too strong, but God bless the writers branch for consistently trying to turn the tide. If they go for Up, it'll be the third time in as many years that Pixar has earned a writing nomination, although I don't know if Up will be as deserving as WALL-E was this past year. If there isn't too much stiff competition, look for writer Bob Peterson (who co-wrote Finding Nemo) to grab a nod.

Whatever Works: After the recent snub for Vicky Christina Barcelona, they may want to make it up to Woody Allen by nominating his latest rom-com starring the unlikely couple of Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood. Will the film have enough "vintage Allen" to earn a spot, or will the age difference between the romantic leads be a turn off. Since nothing seems to turn off the writers branch (except super hero movies, ahem), I'm guessing it has a shot.

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