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January 22, 2009

The write way to Oscar


There's good news and bad news in the Oscar script categories. The good news is, we pegged a good number of the adapted screenplay nominees (four out of five). The bad? We stunk up the place on the original screenplay side, but we still like a few of our (loser) choices like Tom McCarthy for "The Visitor" and Robert Siegel for "The Wrestler."

But we've found some gems among the Oscar nods this morning, as the rain begins to fall in Hollywood and pot of joe No. 2 begins to brew.

First, the more obvious choices -- for best adapted screenplay:

Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"

Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"

David Hare, "The Reader"

Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Guess which one we left off our list? That's right. No "Reader" for us. It was "Revolutionary Road" all the way. How could we have known just how ignored this project would be?

Now, for the original scripts, where we're thrilled to see "Happy-Go-Lucky" finally get recognized, can't argue at all with "In Bruges," one of our Fave Five movies of '08, and still believe that Dustin Lance Black is the guy to beat here.

Contenders for best original screenplay:

Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"

Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"

Martin McDonagh, "In Bruges"

Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter, "WALL-E"


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

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  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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