Sun. Jul 12th, 2020

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: ADAPTED and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (November)

Just when we thought we had the screenplay categorization of The Two Popes down, it goes up and changes again. Well, sort of. An ad popped up specifically targeted to the Writers Guild promoting the film’s original screenplay for contention and sure enough, it is registered with the WGA by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten as original. But, it will compete as Adapted everywhere else, including the Oscars. The screenplay is based on a play by McCarten himself. This also happened with Moonlight in 2016, when Barry Jenkins won Original Screenplay at the WGA then the Academy deemed the unproduced play it was based on as Adapted. From there, the screenplay won Adapted at the Oscars for Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. 2014’s Whiplash from Damien Chazelle was another similar circumstance; competing as original everywhere (including WGA) until the Oscars said nope, you’re adapted (it was based on a short by Chazelle).

With all of that, the top 4 in Adapted Screenplay remain the same and in the same spot. Joker makes a move into the top 5 here on the strength of the film’s position in other categories and the precedent set by the R-rated Logan getting in here two years ago.

Over in Original Screenplay, Parasite and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood swap spots, getting the South Korean masterpiece closer to the top spot and securing its place as one of the year’s top contenders.

1917 remains a strong possibility for its emotionally-driven screenplay that sets itself apart from the rest of the films in contention. That it’s based on director Sam Mendes’ own grandfather (although loosely) is a strong narrative that could go the distance.

The Farewell holds strong despite missing out on a Spirit Award nomination for its screenplay and, although it won’t be eligible for WGA, should find itself with mentions as critics and industry season is just about to kick off.

Shia LaBeouf’s raw and revealing script for Honey Boy continues to climb and is likely to land more than a few screenplay mentions over the next month, especially in the First and Breakthrough categories and it moves up this month.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay for November 29, 2019.


Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry

1. The Two Popes (Netflix)
2. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
3. The Irishman (Netflix)
4. Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
5. Joker (Warner Bros)

NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)

The Aeronauts (Amazon)
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
Hustlers (STX Entertainment)
Just Mercy (Warner Bros)
Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)

Richard Jewell (Warner Bros)
Dark Waters (Focus Features)
Downton Abbey (Focus Features)
The Good Liar (Warner Bros)
The King (Netflix)
Motherless Brooklyn (Warner Bros)


Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry

1. Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Parasite (Neon)
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
4. The Farewell (A24)
5. 1917 (Universal)

NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)

Bombshell (Lionsgate)
Honey Boy (Amazon)
Knives Out (Lionsgate)
Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)
Us (Universal)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)

Booksmart (Annapurna)
Clemency (Neon)
Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix)
Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
Harriet (Focus Features)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)
Queen & Slim (Universal)
The Report (Amazon)
Uncut Gems (A24)
Waves (A24)

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