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Oscar 2018 Predictions & Snubs- Best Adapted/Original Screenplay

by Jonah Reilly

Columns Editor

The season of golden statues and obscure films that a handful of people have seen has come again. As we all know, only losers and low-lifes watch all of the movies, and only bigger losers and lower-lives write articles about them. So, once I finished watching the extensive list of movies that earned a nod, and prepared to write my third annual Oscar nomination story, I was perplexed. The past few years of seeing all of the recognized films, I had a big stand-out that I wholeheartedly rooted for, and critics usually united towards one singular deserving film. Whether or not I agreed with the aforementioned critics is a different story, but this has been consistent throughout the years. However, this year is a neck-in-neck race, and both myself and critics are confused as to who to throw their dice for. So, leading up to the Academy Awards, nomination speculations will be posted periodically.

Best Adapted Screenplay-

Will win: James Ivory- “Call Me By Your Name”

Should win: Aaron Sorkin- “Molly’s Game”

Should’ve been nominated: Steven Rogers- “I, Tonya”

I’m rooting for “Molly’s Game”, an underdog this Oscar season. With Aaron Sorkin’s signature rapidly intelligent dialogue and ruthless delivery, “Molly’s Game” features a slap of energy that “Call Me by Your Name” lacks. “Call Me by Your Name” has so many elements that are working for it that the screenplay just seems like something on a long list of great thematic things, but “Molly’s Game” is shaped by its script, in a way that explodes off of the screen. However, besides the script and Jessica Chastain’s acclaimed performance, this film doesn’t have quite enough to blow it out of the water, and therefore both Chastain’s performance and the script will be overlooked.

The “I, Tonya” snub of Best Screenplay is idiotic and aggravating. I, Tonya was one of my personal favorite films of the year, and one of the main things I look for in a film is a solid screenplay, and when it comes to solid screenplays, that of I, Tonya is diamond. Whether it should fall into Original or Adapted is debatable, but personally, since it’s a true story, and therefore not from the original thoughts of the filmmakers, I consider it Adapted. The dialogue is quick as a whip, and is impeccably witty, and paints the characters for the performers beautifully and perfectly. Not to mention, the screenwriter’s journey while writing it is especially touching to the hearts of an aspiring screenwriter such as myself, and strikes a chord with anyone who has high aspirations for their career, and faces the typical fears that go with said aspirations. I won’t delve into too many details for the sake of tediousness, but if you care to give it a Google, it’ll make it all the more infuriating that he was deprived of a nomination.

Best Original Screenplay-

Will win: Jordan Peele- “Get Out”

Should win: Greta Gerwig- “Lady Bird”

Should’ve been nominated: Gillian Robespierre, Elisabeth Holmes- “Landline” & Kogonada- “Columbus”

For Original, “Get Out” is a clever, intriguing, and overall deserving contender. If “Get Out” won, I’d personally be overjoyed. However, “Lady Bird”’s penmanship just has a certain fresh relatable air that I can’t help but root for it over all of the nominees in this category. The story and dialogue pair together like wine and cheese, and through and through this screenplay is the backbone of this amazing film.

“Landline” might just be one of the most overlooked films of the year. It’s upsetting that so many are dismissing this as a typical Sundance film, because the organic and smoothly clever dialogue, all of which features a ton of heart, elevates it far above the simple Sundance film. Okay, to be fair, it literally is a film from the Sundance film festival, but that doesn’t make it a Sundance film. Gillian Robespierre’s style is evident in both this film, and her writer-director debut of “Obvious Child”, which is one of my top five films of all time, and should be seen by everyone. That style being amusing, without sounding forced or unnatural, and overall subtle, yet stirring and thoroughly enjoyable. Overall, “Landline” is delightful, but under-appreciated. It’s available on Amazon Prime Instant Video. I recommend you give it a shot.

“Columbus” is the epitome of quiet brilliance. This film is simply amazing, and there are so many things about it that I absolutely adore with my entire heart. I’ll get more into them as the film appears on these lists, because trust me, it’ll be very present. The screenplay, specifically, is absolutely beautiful. With a quick, subtle brilliance within its double meanings and symbolism, as well as pure emotional artwork in every scene of dialogue, the fact that “Columbus” isn’t being as appreciated as it should be is criminal. Conversational scenes are what make the bulk of this film, and with its gorgeous hushed sentiment and painfully articulate consistency throughout every scene, the script of “Columbus” is one of the many, many things that make it such an amazing film. Also, it's available on Hulu. Check it out.

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