The screenplay categories are ripe for surprises and upsets. In Adapted the race is clearly between The Imitation Game and Whiplash. This is Imitation‘s best chance for an Oscar on Sunday but will Whiplash‘s profanity-laden script top it? The category confusion for Whiplash at the last minute didn’t keep it from getting nominated here so there’s definitely going to be some passion votes for it. It’s a lock for that Supporting Actor win and also stands a shot in Sound Mixing so if the Academy wants to spread the wealth around (and they often do) this should go to The Imitation Game unless the truly awful campaigning by The Weinstein Company turns voters off comepletely. Most of the Gold Rush Gang see it winning with a couple of votes for Whiplash and a stray vote for The Theory of Everything from the current reigning Gold Rush champion, Matt L. He might be putting more stock in that film’s BAFTA win than the rest of us are or he’s onto something. I’m thinking it’s the former.
The battle for Original Screenplay between Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel is an important one. Whichever film wins this is going reveal a lot about how the night will end. The Grand Budapest has the BAFTA, WGA and numerous critics wins; Birdman has the Globe and the BFCA. It seems like Budapest‘s to lose, plus it’s the best chance to reward Wes Anderson himself. So why are 7/10 of us choosing Birdman to win? That nagging feeling of ‘how many Oscars can/will Birdman win along with Best Picture’ is probably the best reason why. Budapest‘s screenplay is quirky and fun and the kind that wins here, but Birdman‘s script is an affirmation of the actor, of the CRAFT, and the Academy has been rather warm in its reception of screenplays that deal with actors and moviemaking recently (Argo, The Artist).