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2019 Oscars: The Adapted and Original Screenplay Contenders (March)

This year’s crop of screenplay contenders almost feel like the inverse of last year. Last year, Original Screenplay was the strongest its been in years, with four of the nominees also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. Adapted Screenplay was a bit of a wasteland, with just one BP nominee in the bunch – Call Me By Your Name (which ended up winning its category).

Adapted Screenplay looks to be the stacked category this year with a wealth of source material and rich with possibility. Every single screenplay I’m currently predicting (hey, it’s only March) is also featured in my Best Picture predictions and many in the acting categories as well (see below). Oscar winners and nominees highlight this category with Spike Lee (nominated in Original Screenplay for Do the Right Thing; Honorary Oscar winner in 2016) for Black Klansman and last season’s winner in this category – Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) for If Beale Street Could Talk. First Man features a screenplay co-written by Oscar winner Josh Singer (Spotlight) and Can You Ever Forgive Me? could be indie darling Nicole Holofcener’s Oscar break.

Original Screenplay, while not bleak, does seem a bit weaker than Adapted. There are heavy hitters, to be sure. Namely, Ad Astra, Adam McKay’s Untitled Dick Cheney biopic, Peterloo and Roma. There is Best Picture potential with these films (especially Ad Astra, which feels like James Gray’s Oscar breakthrough) and if I’m going to early predict Destroyer for Best Picture and Director then it would show up here, too. After that, it’s a wide open field that includes genre films (Hereditary), animation (Isle of Dogs) and coming of age dramedy (Eighth Grade).

Here are the first Best Adapted Screenplay predictions for the 2019 Oscars.

1. Black Klansman
2. Widows
3. If Beale Street Could Talk
4. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
5. First Man

6. Mary Queen of Scots
7. Boy Erased
8. Untitled Pippa Bianco aka Share
9. Crazy Rich Asians
10. Black Panther

Any number of these other contenders could easily find themselves a major player as the year progresses:

The Aftermath
Beautiful Boy
The Catcher Was a Spy
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
Fighting with My Family
The Front Runner
The Incredibles 2
Leave No Trace
Lean on Pete
Love, Simon
The Little Stranger
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Mary Poppins Returns
The Mercy
Old Man and the Gun
The Sisters Brothers
A Star is Born
The True History of the Kelly Gang
Vita and Virginia
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
The White Crow
The Wife
The Women of Marwen

Here are the first Best Original Screenplay predictions for the 2019 Oscars.

1. Dick Cheney biopic aka Backseat
2. Roma
3. Ad Astra
4. Peterloo
5. Destroyer

6. Fast Color
7. Eighth Grade
8. Isle of Dogs
9. The Favourite
10. Hereditary

Any number of these other contenders could easily find themselves a major player as the year progresses:

Bad Times at the El Royale
Ben is Back
Bohemian Rhapsody
Come Sunday
Everybody Knows
Green Book
The Happy Prince
Hearts Beat Loud
High Life
The Hummingbird Project
Life Itself
Mid 90s
The Nightingale
On the Basis of Sex
Operation Finale
A Quiet Place
Under the Silver Lake
What They Had

Best Picture Contenders  (March)

Best Director Contenders  (March)

Best Actor Contenders (March)

Best Actress Contenders (March)

Best Supporting Actor Contenders (March)

Best Supporting Actress Contenders (March)

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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