This year, as is the case in every other year, there are 10 screenplays nominated for Oscars. Five in each of the Best Adapted and Best Original categories respectively. 2013 was an especially good year for writing in film, so let’s take a look at the scripts and writers that the Academy has deemed “the best”.


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The films nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay are “12 Years a Slave,” “Before Midnight,” “Captain Phillips,” “Philomena,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” In all honesty, this race isn’t as tight or as interesting as the Best Original category. There are really only two films that have a shot, and they are “Philomena” and “12 Years a Slave.”   Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan won a BAFTA for their work on the former, which puts them in a decent position to pick up an Oscar on March 2nd, but the real favorite here is John Ridley for “12 Years a Slave.” Expect that film to win in most categories in which it’s nominated. It’s the kind of movie that tends to win awards.


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There is an outside chance that Billy Ray could win for his work on “Captain Phillips.” He won the WGA in this category, which usually means he could win an Oscar as well.


In the Best Original Screenplay category we have “American Hustle,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Her,” and “Nebraska” as nominees. This is about as strong a batch of screenplays as you’re going to get in one year, and all five have a shot at winning. In most years “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and “Nebraska” would probably go home with the award, as they are all exceptionally written films, but unfortunately they are competing against “American Hustle” and “Her.”


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Those two films are the favorites to win the award, with Spike Jonze probably having a slight edge for his work on “Her.” Jonze already won the WGA, Golden Globe, and Critic’s Choice Award, and since this is the category where the Academy likes to honor films that try something new or different, Jonze is in a good position to win this award. Hype for “American Hustle,” though, has done nothing but build going into the big night, so do not be surprised to see David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer walk away with the prize for their work on that film.


If it were up to us, “Captain Phillips” and “Her” would be the winners. But we do not make such important decisions.


Who do you think will win the awards on March 2nd? Let me know in the comments below.