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Our Oscars Preview - Writing and Directing [2024]



By: Hopster & Isaac P. Ale
March 06, 2024

It's Oscars Week '24! Maybe this our year to nail our predictions... Here is Part 3 of our preview.

Erika Alexander and Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction American Fiction [2023]

Best Adapted Screenplay


Nominees

  • American Fiction – Cord Jefferson; based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett (-125)
  • Barbie – Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach; based on characters created by Ruth Handler (+340)
  • Oppenheimer – Christopher Nolan; based on the biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (+160)
  • Poor Things – Tony McNamara; based on the novel by Alasdair Gray (+800)
  • The Zone of Interest – Jonathan Glazer; based on the novel by Martin Amis (+2900)

Predictions

Hopster: As is the often the case historically-speaking, the Best Adapted Screenplay category is one of the most competitive and hard-to-predict races heading at the Oscars. This year there are five legitimate and worthy contenders in the mix, and that removed from the fact that Killers of the Flower Moon isn't even nominated (which is, in my opinion, one of the biggest snubs of the year). When you then add in the fact that the Academy shifted Barbie from Best Original Screenplay into Best Adapted Screenplay (a still-puzzling decision that I don't need to litigate here and now), it is clear that this will be one of the hardest predictions to make with any sort of confidence. Let's just assume Poor Things and The Zone of Interest (two great adaptations, the former of which might sneakily be the best of the year) are on the outside looking in. That leaves us with: Oppenheimer, a film that hasn't collected a lot of hardware for its screenplay but is still the Best Picture frontrunner; American Fiction, a film that just recently won Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTAs; and Barbie, one of the year's biggest films that is more or less out of the conversation in the other big Oscar categories. A win for Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach here might be the ultimate 'make-good' movie from the Academy for a few different reasons: Barbie went through the Screenplay category swap, Gerwig wasn't included in Best Director, and despite being one of the biggest films of the year, it projected, as of now, to be the outright frontrunner in only one category on Sunday night and that is Best Song. While the pundits point to this going to American Fiction and history tells us that Oppenheimer is still very much in the mix, I'm calling for (or maybe just hoping for) a stunning upset in favor of Barbie.

Isaac: American Fiction – Cord Jefferson; based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett

Sandra Hüller in Anatomy of a Fall Anatomy of a Fall [2023]

Best Original Screenplay


Nominees

  • Anatomy of a Fall – Justine Triet and Arthur Harari (-210)
  • The Holdovers – David Hemingson (+145)
  • Maestro – Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer (+2900)
  • May December – Screenplay by Samy Burch; Story by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik (+3400)
  • Past Lives – Celine Song (+1000)

Predictions

Isaac: There are four incredible screenplays in this category, and one that I wish was replaced by something else. Maybe, oh I don't know Barbie actually being an original screenplay being in here instead of whatever Maestro had on the pages. Not trying to be mean! But also, the fact that the odds are favoring Maestro over May December is actually a travesty. Samy Burch's script is one of the absolute best of the year and I really wish the film as a whole was garnering more attention and accolades. The Holdovers presents an interesting second best odds choice here but it hasn't won many of the big precursors to take away from Anatomy of a Fall's steam. Justine Triet and Arthur Harari's screenplay has won at the BAFTA's and the Golden Globes, along with taking home the Palme d'Or from Cannes back in May. The only stumble was not being nominated for Original Screenplay at the Critics Choice awards, but Barbie went on to win that category but has since been moved to Adapted so there's no threat there. Outside of that, Anatomy of a Fall is also the only film in this bunch to have a nomination in Best Director. Ten films, in the past 13 years, that have won Best Original Screenplay have also had a nomination in Best Director. I think all signs point towards a huge win, and deservedly so, for Anatomy of a Fall in Best Original Screenplay.

Hopster: Anatomy of a Fall – Justine Triet and Arthur Harari

The Zone of Interest The Zone of Interest [2023]

Best Director


Nominees

  • Justine Triet – Anatomy of a Fall (+3400)
  • Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon (+2900)
  • Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer (-2000)
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things (+1800)
  • Jonathan Glazer – The Zone of Interest (+1800)

Predictions

Hopster: How much punditry does this category actually require? Perhaps the most clearest runaway favorite of this entire Oscars (not counting one Da'Vine Joy Randolph), it seems like the stars have aligned and the golden clock will ring its bell for Christopher Nolan on Sunday night. Not only is his most decorated film the frontrunner for Best Picture, it is all but a certainty that he will Best Director for Oppenheimer. While it is actually only the second time he has been nominated in this category (the first nom came for Dunkirk), it seems like the seas have parted and the entire Hollywood apparatus has agreed that he should win for what many call his greatest contribution to cinema thus far. So often the Oscars miss their golden opportunities to recognize our greatest filmmakers in their prime; handing out Makeup Oscars after the fact for a lesser achievement always feels like a bit of a letdown. Regardless of your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for Oppenheimer, it is undeniable that Christopher Nolan is one of our foremost modern directors, and this year, he was at the absolute top of his game. This is a more than well-deserved victory devoid of any past or future Makeup Oscar bullshit.

Isaac: Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer

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The Greatest Night in Pop - So Far

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