2016 Oscars Preview: The Screenplays

Adapted Screenplay:

The Big Short



The Martian


What Should Win: The Big Short. Brooklyn is a well told story, but nothing about it really distinguishes the screenplay.  Carol is more about the central performances and the designs of the film.  I’m a big fan of Room overall.  I could see The Martian winning too.  But The Big Short pulls off so much, adapting a book that deals with complex issues, and manages to break them down into digestible chunks for the general audience, and that is due in large part to the creativity of the script.

What Will Win: The Big Short. Again, what it pulls off in its runtime is a major accomplishment.

Original Screenplay:

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out


Straight Outta Compton

What Should Win: Spotlight.  I enjoyed all of these movies, though Bridge of Spies is my least favorite of the bunch.  Ex Machina is right up my ally because of the sci-fi elements and questions of ethic and its cat & mouse games.  I think Inside Out is one of the most substantive works that Pixar has done.  Straight Outta Compton tells a great story and stays coherent despite a lot of central characters, but it loses its steam in the last 45 minutes.  Spotlight, like The Big Short, is an impressive piece of storytelling, with several vital characters given great, but unflashy moments.  It doesn’t glamorize the work, and resists the urge to get up on a soapbox.

What Will Win: Spotlight.  Along with The Big Short‘s adapted screenplay win, I expect that these will be consolation prizes of sorts for the two films, which are also up for Best Picture.

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