Mon. Aug 12th, 2019

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (July)

Bong-Joon ho’s Cannes winner Parasite is ready to invade the Oscar race (Neon)

A much, much richer category than Adapted, the sheer volume of high-level contenders in Original Screenplay this year is overwhelming. The box office may be flush with sequels, remakes, reboots and franchises but who says Hollywood isn’t making exciting, and striking new material?

There isn’t really that much movement in this category this month, however. The biggest is the addition of Aeronauts (Amazon), which debuts in the top 5 (and dropped ‘The’) – just as it did in Adapted Screenplay. As mentioned there, a test screening revealed the script was adapted from a book but we have yet to unearth was book or source material it is. IMDb only lists ‘story by’ credits for Jack Thorne and director Tom Harper and ‘written by’ credits for Thorne alone. We’ll have to see how that plays out but being this up in the air means it’s going to have to take up valuable real estate in both categories. [Update: a book source has been found and next month’s chart will reflect that]

Bong-Joon ho’s Palme d’Or Cannes winner Parasite invades the Next Up section with the month’s sole green move up. The Neon release will no doubt hit Toronto on its way to its October rollout. I think this is a film that will continue to grow in top tier categories over the next few months and it, along with Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory (Sony Classics) are the frontrunners for the newly retitled International Feature Film Oscar (formerly Foreign Language Film).

Two other new additions this month: Bad Education with Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman and Oscar winner Allison Janney, which is currently without a distributor but I can see that changing come September. There’s also Long Time Coming (formerly Torrance) with Ben Affleck, his hopeful return. It’s a Warner Bros film and although it’s their best shot here (only?) they have a pretty full slate already this fall and winter. With an October 18th release date (just after The Joker) they seem keen on getting it out there and it’s also a film that is very likely to see a fall festival run, especially Toronto.

Amazon’s The Report and Universal’s Queen & Slim drop down into the Other Contenders list and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/Columbia) and Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox) sit with Aeronauts in the murky ‘Adapted or Original?’ section. The Farewell remains in Original as I have confirmed its placement there this weekend.

Here are my ranked 2020 Oscar Nomination predictions in Original Screenplay for July 15, 2019.

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

1. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
2. Untitled Noah Baumbach (Netflix)
3. The Farewell (A24)
4. Harriet (Focus Features)
5. Aeronauts (Amazon)

NEXT UP (alphabetical)

1917 (Universal)
Booksmart (Annapurna)
Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)
Parasite (Neon)
The Pope (Netflix)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical)

Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
Against All Enemies (Amazon)
Bad Education (TBD)
Clemency (Neon)
The French Dispatch (TBD)
Knives Out (Lionsgate)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)
Long Time Coming (Warner Bros)
Luce (Neon)
Queen & Slim (Universal)
The Report (Amazon)
The Souvenir (A24)
Uncut Gems (A24)
Untitled Roger Ailes aka Fair and Balanced (Lionsgate)
Us (Universal)
Waves (A24)
Wendy (Fox Searchlight)

Adapted or Original?

Aeronauts (Amazon)
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/Columbia)
Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)

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