Follow us on

2015 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Original Screenplay

February 20th, 2016

Spotlight

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. The Best Original Screenplay category isn't the most lop-sided category we will highlight, but it is also not very competitive.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for writing and not other categories. Also, for writing teams, they are combined totals with each film counting as one nomination regardless of how many members were part of the previous team.)

Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen
Tomatometer Score: 91% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: WGA and BAFTA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Writer's Previous Major Nominations: Five Oscars, Three Golden Globes, Seven BAFTAs, Seven WGAs, and Two Independent Spirit Award
Writer's Previous Major Wins: Two Oscars, One Golden Globe, Two WGAs, and Independent Spirit Award
Notes: Of the five films on this week's list, this one is likely the fifth most likely to win the Oscar. It is an Oscar-bait movie, but the reviews are weaker than most of the rest of the competition and the writing team has won a couple of writing Oscars in the past, so voters won't be looking to fix past mistakes.

Ex Machina written by Alex Garland
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: BAFTA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Writers' Previous Major Nominations: None
Writers' Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This film earned great reviews, but it is the wrong genre for Awards Season. Science Fiction rarely does well on Oscar night, at least not in the prestige categories. It isn't the longest of the long shots, but it has very little chance of winning.

Inside Out written By Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmen, Pete Docter, and Meg LeFauve
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: BAFTA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Writer's Previous Major Nominations: Three Oscars and Two BAFTAs
Writer's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Inside Out is the best movie from 2015 that I reviewed. It 100% deserves the win, but it is not going to win. Animated films are not treated seriously by Awards Season voters.

Spotlight written by Thomas McCarthy and Josh Singer
Tomatometer Score: 96% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: BAFTA, WGA, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins: BAFTA, WGA, and Golden Globe (One Pending)
Writers' Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, One BAFTA, Three WGAs, and Two Independent Spirit Awards
Writers' Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Awards
Notes: This film is practically a lock for this award. It was nominated for every major award and has won all of them that have been handed out so far. There's only a small chance it won't win. We are talking about a 90% chance of winning.

Straight Outta Compton written by Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, and Alan Wenkus
Tomatometer Score: 88% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: WGA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Writer's Previous Major Nominations: None
Writer's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This film has the worst reviews on this year's list. Additionally, it only picked up one previous nomination and it lost. It might be the longest of the long shots.

Conclusion: Inside Out should win, but the Academy has historically undervalued animated films. Because of this, Spotlight has about a 90% chance of winning.


-

Filed under: Awards Season, Inside Out, Bridge of Spies, Straight Outta Compton, Ex Machina, Spotlight, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmen, Pete Docter, Thomas McCarthy, Alex Garland, Josh Singer, Alan Wenkus, Andrea Berloff, Matt Charman, Meg LeFauve, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge