Last night Midnight in Paris and The Descendents won the WGA awards for best original and adapted screenplay. Though I’m sure the winners were happy, for the Oscar horse-race enthusiasts, the question is: does this predict the Oscars? Many of the guild award winners go on to take home their respective prizes at the Oscars, but in this case, the results aren’t quite as telling.
For original screenplay, there were only two overlaps with the Oscar nominees (this had to do with guild rules). Where 50/50, Young Adult and Win/Win got WGA noms, they were replaced in the Oscar section by The Artist, A Separation and Margin Call. Often the guilds call the winner, but here it’s hard to say if The Artist has the momentum to go for a full sweep.
Award seasons often have either a clear front-runner that sweeps or – more often than not – there’s a sense of spreading the love. For those looking to game their office Oscar pool, it now seems to be a 50/50 chance to whether Paris or Artist takes the award. What may work against The Artist is that it’s a silent film, where Woody Allen not only already has three Oscars, he won’t be attending the ceremony. I would give a slight nod to Paris simply because of the dialog, but because Jean Dujardin seems the likely best Actor Oscar winner, it’s hard to vote against an Artist sweep.
The adapted screenplay nominees had three overlaps: The Descendents, Hugo and Moneyball. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Help were nominated for the WGA award, while The Ides of March and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy got the Oscar nominations. Here the choice is obvious.
The academy liked The Descendents, and if it weren’t for The Artist, it might have done better, so if it gets a consolation win, here’s where it would be. The other nominated films aren’t as strong. Hugo will get some tech awards, but it’s best shot would be for Martin Scorsese‘s direction, while Moneyball‘s wins are its nominations. Ides is an also-ran (and additional Clooney nomination), while Tinker Tailor seems lucky to be there. If you’re betting, go Descendents for best adapted.
Do you think there’s another way the Academy could go?