Today, we take a look at one of the most keenly-contested categories of this year’s Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay.
Will win: Green Book
Should win: Vice
Also nominated: The Favourite, First Reformed, Roma
The winner of this year’s Best Original Screenplay category has proven to be one of the hardest to call. In any other year, almost every single one of these nominees could have been a shoo-in favourite, but this will likely be a much closer affair.
The outsider in this category is almost certainly Paul Schrader’s First Reformed. It’s baffling that this is Schrader’s first Oscar nomination, given that he has undisputed classics such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ to his name. First Reformed is very good, but it is not quite on the same level. Schrader will have to wait a little longer for his first Oscar win.
Roma is a minimalist film in almost every sense, and this will likely serve it well in the directing and cinematography categories. However, the minimalism of the screenplay will likely work against it here, especially when up against the type of sharp, snappy dialogue that can be found in something like The Favourite. Equally, however, The Favourite does perhaps veer too far in the other direction. The quirkiness and eccentricity of the screenplay may well be part of the film’s charm, but could prove a bit too much for the Academy’s taste on this occasion.
The main showdown would therefore appear to be between Green Book and Vice. Truthfully, both would be deserving winners. Vice is perhaps the slightly more meritorious of the two, with its seething criticism of the current political climate (and those who helped push it in this direction), but Green Book also bears great relevancy to our time. It has the added benefit of being funny and heartwarming – two ingredients that are sure to bolster its chances.