FINAL 2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay & Best Adapted Screenplay

This post was updated January 13th and predictions are FINAL

Best Original Screenplay

The Predicted Nominees

You always have to take the Writers Guild nominations with a grain of salt since they have differing views than the Academy on what “original” and “adapted” mean, as well them simply disqualifying films that lack guild affiliation. Damien Chazelle has picked up some prizes for his La La Land script and looks to double dip both here and in director. Same goes for Kenneth Lonergan with Manchester by the Sea. Both are locks for a nom, though I feel like the Academy may want to award Lonergan here if La La Land is winning picture/director. My favorite work of the year is that of Taylor Sheridan with Hell or High Water. He should’ve gotten in last year for Sicario. He’ll be in this year as his film looks like a good best picture bet. The Lobster looks to surprise. It wasn’t eligible for WGA but there’s a lot of love and A24 Films has proven themselves capable of sneaking smaller stuff in major categories. Also, I think Mike Mills is in for some love despite 20th Century Women never really picking up the momentum many thought it would.

1) Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

2) Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)

3) Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water)

4) Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthimis Filippou (The Lobster)

5) Mike Mills (20th Century Women)

On The Bubble

Keep an eye on Matt Ross for Captain Fantastic. It’s small, but a lot of people love the film. It could double dip here and in best actor for Viggo Mortensen.

6) Matt Ross (Captain Fantastic)

7) Various Writers (Zootopia)

8) Nicholas Martin (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Predicted Nominees

Finally, a category where Moonlight doesn’t have to battle La La Land. It should be an easy win for Barry Jenkins and his writing partner/best pal Tarell McCraney (who wrote the play on which the film is based). Eric Heisserer made so many changes to the Ted Chiang story that Arrival is loosely based on that it’s practically an original script; and a great one at that. Look for Pulitzer winner August Wilson to score a nom for adapting his own play (though the changes to make it fit the screen are next to none). Likely best picture nominee Hidden Figures should sneak in, and while I don’t think the Academy loves Nocturnal Animals as much as its late momentum suggests, this is a spot to cite Tom Ford for adapting a complex novel.

1) Barry Jenkins & Tarell McCraney (Moonlight)

2) Eric Heisserer (Arrival)

3) August Wilson (Fences)

4) Theodore Melfi & Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures)

5) Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals)

On The Bubble

A spot or two could easily go to likely best picture nominees Lion and Hacksaw Ride, though neither are the type of films that overtly show off the writing. I want Jeff Nichols to get a nomination so bad, but Loving never really gained the traction folks thought it would. I think it’s getting shut out entirely on Oscar morning.

6) Luke Davies (Lion)

7) Jeff Nichols (Loving)

8) Andrew Knight & Robert Schenkkan (Hacksaw Ridge)

9) Martin Scorsese & Jay Cocks (Silence)


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