2013 Oscar Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

HER

Just three more days and we’ll finally come to the end of this never-ending awards season. It feels like it’s taken foreverr. And it actually has, with the Superbowl and the Winter Olympics delaying the Oscar telecast until the first days of March. In any case, it’s all about to go down, and we only have a couple categories left to predict. One of them is Original Screenplay, which usually finds room to nominate some cool choices, like foreign movies (Amour, A Separation), animated films (mostly Pixar stuff), or movies that otherwise don’t have much Oscar buzz around them (like In Bruges or Vera Drake). This year, however, I am pretty disappointed with the nominations. 

I have deep issues with every single one of the screenplays singled out by the Academy. Before nominations came out, I was ready for a pretty dull category, and was riding on a nomination for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis to rest my hat and my hopes on. However, they were snubbed, and now I don’t know what to make out of this group. Which of these movies could I root for? Certainly not American Hustle with its meandering, almost exclusively improvised plot. I also have deep problems with the treatment of most supporting roles in Nebraska (especially June Squibb’s character). The same goes for the preachiness and dullness of most everything about Dallas Buyers Club except for Matthew McConaughey’s performance. And although it is most people’s favorite in the category, I think Her was a big missed opportunity for making a truly remarkable movie. That would leave me voting for Woody Allen’s script for Blue Jasmine, which has some pretty good moments, but doesn’t feel very polished, using Andrew Dice Clay as a big deus ex machina and what not.

As far as who’s going to win, though, after somewhat surprising wins at the Golden Globes and Writers Guild Awards, Spike Jonze’s Her seemed to be our winner. That is until American Hustle won the BAFTA a couple weeks ago. It seems a little ridiculous that a movie whose production basically consisted of David O. Russell staging a big improv session with some of his favorite actors would win an Oscar for writing, but the Academy has been known for simply voting for the movies they like, and with ten nominations, they certainly like this one. I’m tempted to pick Hustle, but at the same time, Her is a certain kind of movie, whose basic premise is so imaginative, that the Academy sometimes can’t help but award in this category (think of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Plus, everyone loves Spike Jonze, right?

Will Win: Spike Jonze (Her)

My Pick: Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis) Oh, right. Can I abstain?… You know what, even if I have my problems with the movie, I can’t object to giving a trophy to Spike Jonze. I also love the guy.

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