2022 Oscar Predictions: ADAPTED SCREENPLAY and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (February)
While Adapted Screenplay feels pretty tied up (is it?) for The Power of the Dog, the overwhelming critics’ favorite and likely to win the USC Scripter, Critics’ Choice and BAFTA, it’s Original Screenplay that’s going to be the single best bellwether we have for Best Picture on Oscar night, especially if the category is announced early enough.
Every bit of hope that Belfast has at pulling out a Best Picture win hinges on this category. After missing crucial techs (editing, cinematography) and a scattered actors’ branch that snubbed someone who got all precursors (Balfe) over someone who got none (Dench), the support behind the film is clearly off balance. But all is not lost, this is still a race. A tight one, but still a race.
Once again, the Writers Guild (WGA) won’t be much help as Belfast was ineligible there, which paves the way for a clear and easy win for Paul Thomas Anderson. But even the Golden Globes tossed its single screenplay category win to Branagh’s Belfast, his film’s only win, over PTA.
Original Screenplay has a storied history marked with Best Director nominees winning here. It’s often attached directly to a Best Picture win, often by the thinnest of threads (like 2015’s Spotlight or 2018’s Green Book). Sometimes it’s the bravest and most progressive screenplay like 2017’s Get Out or Promising Young Woman last year. In a race that’s squarely between Branagh and Anderson, both respected multi-nominated multi-hyphenates, it’s one of the most exciting of the season. Each director and their screenplays represent the types of wins we’ve seen over the last two decades. One thing is clear, either the streak of Branagh’s historic eight nominations in seven different categories or Anderson’s astonishing 11 nods without a win will end and we will see one of them finally crowned on Oscar night.
Precursor Watch: USC Scripter is February 26, BAFTA and Critics’ Choice are both March 13 and WGA is March 20. Oscar winner voting is March 17-22.
Here are my ranked 2022 Oscar predictions in Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay for February.
1. The Power of the Dog – Jane Campion (Netflix) – GG, CCA, BAFTA, USC
2. CODA – Siân Heder (Apple Original Films) – CCA, BAFTA, WGA
3. The Lost Daughter – Maggie Gyllenhaal (Netflix) – CCA, BAFTA, USC
4. Drive My Car – Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe (Sideshow/Janus Films) – BAFTA
5. Dune – Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, Eric Roth (Warner Bros/HBO Max) – CCA, BAFTA, USC, WGA
1. Licorice Pizza – Paul Thomas Anderson (MGM/UAR) – GG, CCA, BAFTA, WGA
2. Belfast – Kenneth Branagh (Focus Features) – GG, CCA, BAFTA
3. Don’t Look Up – Adam McKay, David Sirota (Netflix) – GG, CCA, BAFTA, WGA
4. King Richard – Zach Baylin (Warner Bros/ HBO Max) – CCA, BAFTA, WGA
5. The Worst Person in the World – Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier (NEON)