It’s like a breath of fresh air when you walk into a movie theater and watch a film that’s been one hundred percent created from a person’s mind. There’s no previous material that it’s based off of for you to look up. The script’s conception was done solely through one or two persons which blossomed into the movie that you see before you. This week we’d like to touch upon some of the original screenplays that could get some Oscar love and what’s going on with the new Academy voting process.
Just like with a number of other Oscar categories, the Best Original Screenplay section includes one sure-fire winner and then everybody else. First up we have Zero Dark Thirty, the Kathryn Bigelow picture about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden that’s been on everybody’s lips since they began screenings for it in the start of December. Critics are absolutely in love with this movie, despite the torture scene controversy, including our own. The story spans through the ten years when the United States was aggressively trying to figure out the whereabouts of the Al Quaeda leader. Zero Dark Thirty‘s chances of winning Oscar gold for its screenplay is very high, especially if you consider that this isn’t screenwriter Mark Boal‘s first time around the Academy block. He won a couple of years ago for his script The Hurt Locker.
Now onto the rest of the possible nominees. Although Zero Dark Thirty is clearly the favorite in this category doesn’t mean that the others won’t get their chance to shine. Another picture that’s riding on the waves of popularity at the moment is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. This isn’t the first time that Quentin Tarantino would have one of his scripts nominated. He’s won an Oscar for his written collaboration with Roger Avary on Pulp Fiction. He was nominated for his work on Inglourious Basterds but sadly didn’t walk away with a golden boy. It’s obvious that Tarantino’s script will get the recognition it deserves through a screenwriting nom, but the crazy amount of hype that Zero Dark Thirty has been receiving may squash his chances. We still would like to believe that the race to win this category is neck-and-neck, given how much attention both of these movies have been receiving as of late.
Now we must touch upon the remaining nomination slots. It’d be a crime if Moonrise Kingdom and The Master didn’t get their hands on a couple of nominations, which they more than likely will. At the same time, it would be great to see Rian Johnson‘s Looper edge its way into the top five. It may not have a lot of Oscar consideration hype surrounding it, but a reason for that could simply be because it was released back in September. Still, Looper is one of the better written science fiction films to be released within the past decade and in some ways it would be a crime if it didn’t get love from the Academy. It is a distinct possibility that Looper could get some Academy love, but that would be only if the Oscar experts were wrong in saying that Michael Haneke’s Amour has a better chance of snagging the fifth nomination slot instead of the sci-fi film. If it were up to us, we’d nominate Looper, Moonrise Kingdom, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty and The Master.
As with every other new piece of technology, whether it’d be a piece of software or a computer, it’s bound to have its hiccups. The brand new Oscar voting system wasn’t prone to flaws of any kind. Yesterday the Academy announced that they would be giving voters until Friday to cast their ballots. Instead of previous years where they would submit their votes in through mail, they’ve got the option of doing it online. As a result, there’s been quite a few confused voters who are obviously not savvy with filling out their ballots online. We could make the assumption that a large number of Academy voters are of a certain age where they’re not used to working swiftly on a computer, but that’s a mean thought. There’s a few kinks that the Academy is aware of, mainly having to do with its security, but at least they’re fixing the problem. We hope that the Academy releases the stats of how many voters were able to submit by the end date, significantly set to end earlier than in previous years, just to see if the online voting system provided to be better or worse for voters.
One of the most unfortunate things about this category is how predictable it is in regards to its nominees. We wish there was a little bit more mystery when it came to which script would be given the recognition it deserves, but at the same time there isn’t too many pictures to choose from. We’re still in an age where there’s more adapted material than original work. Maybe in future years we’ll have more variety but this year that’s not the case.