2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted and Original Screenplay Update

oscar-featIt was important to update my Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay predictions since they hadn't been touched since I originally debuted them. Since they first premiered I've seen nine of my 25 Original Screenplay contenders, but only two of my 20 contenders in the Adapted category. So with 34 more of these films yet to be seen and what will likely be another few contenders added as we move along, it's still very early in the game as this aren't categories as easily sussed out before we begin moving into the thick of things.

That said, I've added three new contenders to my Adapted ranks and two in the Original category, though none of these new contenders cracked the top five in either category and I'm still unsure if the bottom four in my Adapted predictions -- The Railway Man, Devil's Knot, A Most Wanted Man and Winter's Tale -- will even hit theaters this year.

In the Original category the list is topped by Eric Singer's script for American Hustle followed by Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, which moves up several notches from #10 and Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis moves from #23 to #3, which has been a common theme in my predictions since seeing the movie at Cannes.

My #4 and #5 remain the same with Asghar Farhadi's The Past and Cormac McCarthy's The Counselor respectively.

Just outside the top five is a new contender and one of the best films I saw at Cannes (if not the best) in J.C. Chandor's All is Lost (read my review here). What will be interesting with this one is Chandor's screenplay is only 30 pages long and largely consists of prose describing one scene to the next, with virtually zero dialogue. Can such a screenplay earn a nomination from the Academy? I think it should, but I'm keeping it just out for now.

As for the Adapted contenders, there's only one change in my top five as Tracy Letts' adaptation of his own play, August: Osage County, moves from #6 to #4 while I've shuffled Jason Reitman's Labor Day down to #7. Otherwise the top five remains.

I've listed my top five in both categories directly below, you can click here for the full list of Adapted contenders and here for the full list of ranked Original contenders.

Adapted Screenplay

  1. George Clooney and Grant Heslov (Monuments Men)
  2. Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye (Foxcatcher)
  3. Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  4. Tracy Letts (August: Osage County)
  5. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)

Original Screenplay

  1. Eric Singer (American Hustle)
  2. Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
  3. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
  4. Asghar Farhadi (The Past)
  5. Cormac McCarthy (The Counselor)

You can see all of my full 2014 Oscar Prediction charts right here. You will need to be a logged in member of RopeofSilicon to view any rankings beyond the top five, but registration is free so that shouldn't be too much trouble.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

    Is the drop-off of 'Fruitvale Station' a result of seeing the film, or just due to the rise of 'Llewyn Davis' and 'Blue Jasmine'?

    My predictions:

    Best Original Screenplay

    1. Inside Llewyn Davis
    2. American Hustle
    3. Blue Jasmine
    4. The Counselor
    5. Fruitvale Station

    Just Outside - The Past, The Way Way Back, Elysium, Nebraska, All Is Lost

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    1. The Monuments Men
    2. The Wolf of Wall Street
    3. Before Midnight
    4. August: Osage County
    5. Labor Day

    Just Outside - Foxcatcher, A Most Wanted Man, The Spectacular Now, Captain Phillips

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Fruitvale's drop is largely due to Coogler being a new screenwriter and the talent he's facing. I will be keeping it close to the top during the race, but right now it's just on the outside.

  • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt


    1. Eric Singer, "American Hustle"
    2. Woody Allen, "Blue Jasmine"
    3. The Coens, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
    4. Ryan Cogler, "Fruitvale Station"
    5. Cormac McCarthy, "The Counselor"

    I could definitely see "The Past" getting on there though, and could also see "Don Jon" breaking out and getting a surprise nomination (similar to "Bridesmaids" in 2011).


    1. Terrence Winter, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
    2. Tracy Letts, "August: Osage County"
    3. Richard Linklater, Julie Deply & Ethan Hawke, "Before Midnight"
    4. George Clooney & Grant Heslov, "Monuments Men"
    5. John Ridley & Steve McQueen, "Twelve Years a Slave"

    I'd predict "Foxcatcher" but it doesn't have a release date yet and I'm starting to worry that it won't be released this year (I hope it does, I can't wait to see it). I could also see "The Spectacular Now" possibly being nominated if it lives up to the hype.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    Inside Llewyn Davis is based on a book. It is adapted, and no matter how loose, it still qualifies for adapted screenplay

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/eoindaly2k11/ Eoin Daly

    1. Cormac McCarthy, The Counselor
    2. Eric Singer, American Hustle
    3. Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
    4. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
    5. Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station

    McCarthy is a very respected writer and his first original script is an event in itself which is why I see him winning. The Coens and Allen have won so they can sit out. Coogler getting the nomination will be the win. Singer probably will share the credit with O.Russell who has made som changes to the original script. The race will be AH versus TC.

    1. Tracy Letts, August: Osage County
    2. Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, Foxcatcher
    3. Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
    4. George Clooney and Grant Heslov, The Monuments Men
    5. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight

    Letts is a respected playwrite and this work on stage is a masterwork and him handling the screenplay should be that consistant and make him the winner as he is having a great 2013 winning a tony, starring on Homeland and writing this movie. Clooney and his partners got a screenplay nomination for Ides so even if the film is disappointing like I believe it will be he can still get in. The Before writers will just get nominated but I do not see them winning because the film is not as succesful with audiences as it was predicted to be. Winter is respected for his tv work and writing this screenplay could be a breakout. The writers of Foxcatcher have a great story to tell but with all these nominees I see the award going to Letts especially if the academy felt bad not giving it to Kushner will feel they must give the award to a pulitzer prize winner which Letts is.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jack/ Jack Tyler

    David O. Russell is credited on the American Hustle script, I believe, too after the rewrites.

    1. American Hustle
    2. Inside Llewyn Davis
    3. Blue Jasmine
    4. Fruitvale Station
    5. The Counselor

    1. The Monuments Men
    2. The Wolf of Wall Street
    3. August: Osage County
    4. Before Midnight
    5. Labor Day

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Newbourne/ Newbourne

    I'm curious, regarding the nominations, how much does personal preference factor into your predictions?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Right now it factors in, but in the end my personal preference doesn't matter at all since I'm not a member of the Academy.

  • http://www.cinemaconfessions.com/ Gautam Anand

    Brad, I know Upstream Color doesn't stand a chance, but atleast you could have put it in somewhere in the charts just as mark of respect just as you did with Amy Seimetz in Best Actress category. I think if one has to pick two outstanding qualities about Upstream Color, it has to be its Script and Sound Design.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/R.Feynman/ R.Feynman

    Hey Brad why no love for Neil Blomkamp and Elysium. After District 9 its clear he know how to craft a fully realized sci-fi world while incorporating larger themes. Just wanted to hear your thought.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Hudsucker/ Hudsucker

    Surprised you ranked The Way, Way Back at 16. Seems a bit low, since the screenwriters have already won an Oscar and it seems similar to Little Miss Sunshine and Juno both of which won the screenwriting Oscar, if I'm not mistaken.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aline/ Aline Van D

    Why did Labor Day fell down?

    I think Jason will deliver very goos in that movie