The Top Five
1 - The name on everyones lips right now is Diablo Cody and her wonderful screenplay for "Juno". She will be nominated and could eventually win. She is hot stuff right now in Hollywood, and she is turning out script after script. this category is kinder to comedies.
2 - Tony Gilroy is a likely shot for “Michael Clayton". The film is loved, especially the screenplay. It is one of the only seriously adult films of the bunch and Gilroy is highly respected. I think the end fight will be between this and "Juno" for the prize.
3 - With the critical reception and massive fan base, Brad Bird should have no trouble getting nomination for “Ratatouille”. The screenplay categories are much kinder to animated films, and someone as well respected as Bird should have no trouble getting a nod.
4 - There is always a comedy spot in original screenplay. I am thinking it will most likely go to Tamara Jenkins for “The Savages”. If Sundance is anything to go by, the screenplay is a hoot, and this will have it’s rabid backers. Think “Little Miss Sunshine”
5 - "Lars and the Real Girl" is just quirky enough to succeed in this category. The film is apparently saved by the central performance and the screenplay, which says heaps about the writing of Nancy Oliver. Nice this category is dominated by women....are they more original?
The Next Five
6 - “Before the Devil Knows You're Dead” has done well with the critics and the buzz is very very strong right now. Kelly Masterson could get nominated easily.
7 - “Knocked Up” was one of the big hits of the year, with both audiences and critics. It will not get into Best Picture, but this is the category that has rewarded the big comedy hits in the past, so do not be surprised to see Judd Apatow’s name called.
8 - “Once” is one of those critical hits that should not be ignored. There is enough love for it to gain a nomination and perhaps it will gain John Carney an Oscar nod here.
9 - “Margot at the Wedding” is already getting mixed reviews, but Noah Baumbach does know his way around a screenplay. Some people love it (enough though?)
10 - Steven Knight could repeat his Oscar nom with “Eastern Promises”. His first was a corker! Perhaps the dark subject matter could be off putting, but in a year where there are so many original comedies, this would be a welcome addition.