UPDATE: I messed up and accidentally had Cormac McCarthy's original screenplay for Ridley Scott's The Counselor in the Adapted category. The article reflects the changes.
The early 2014 Oscar predictions continue and now that we have an official date for the ceremony we realize we are making these predictions just under one year from when the actual awards will be handed out. So, of course things will change, screenplays will be added and some will be dropped, but that's all part of the fun.
Just like any of the other categories, we are largely basing these predictions on previous efforts, what small amount of buzz there may be surrounding some of these titles and Academy tendencies. My top five in the Original category reflects this with a mixture of studio films, independent films and a foreign competitor to start things off.
Here's a look at my starting top five...
1.) Eric Singer (Untitled David O. Russell/Abscam Project) - As I've already pointed out, a two-year-old draft of Eric Singer's (The International) screenplay is online for you to check out, but I expect the film that hits the screen will probably not match-up and I expect by the time nominations come around, David O. Russell may get a co-screenwriting credit as the idea of him not contributing to the script seems unlikely to me.
2.) Bob Nelson (Nebraska) - This feels like a risky pick and it's a prediction based more on the fact Alexander Payne is directing than Bob Nelso wrote the screenplay. Who is Bob Nelson? you ask. Good question. He wrote four episodes of a TV series called "The Magic Hour" and another for a series called "The Eyes of Nye". He also contributed to the old Seattle-based sketch comedy show "Almost Live!" which I used to watch here as a kid... I never really found it all that funny. However, if you really want to learn more about Neslon, click here.
3.) Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale) - A hit out of Sundance and an easy pick this early in the year. Where most films have no buzz, Fruitvale has the good fortune at this point of being a hot commodity. We'll see how it stands up the rest of the year.
4.) Asghar Farhadi (The Past) - Hope right now is for Farhadi's follow-up to his Oscar-winning foreign language film A Separation to play at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. I hope it does, I'll be there front-and-center to see it.
5.) Cormac McCarthy (The Counselor) - I have more faith in Cormac McCarthy's screenplay than I do Ridley Scott's ability to deliver an outright gem of a film. I don't know if McCarthy's screenplay for The Counselor is floating around out there, but it's one I would probably toss aside my rule of not reading screenplays to take a look at. I have found his writing equally entertaining and fascinating and oftentimes, given his style, it reads like a screenplay. It's a film I certainly cannot wait to see.
I have 20 additional contenders listed, which you can explore right here. I welcome any suggestions for films I may have left off the list or a difference in rankings. At this point in the game anything is possible and all suggestions and reasoning will be taken into consideration.
Again I'll note, if you don't have a free RopeofSilicon account you may want to register for one. Beginning April 1, 2013 you will need to be a registered and logged-in member of the site to not only comment, but to also view all contenders below the Bubble Line, which is to say any contenders not currently predicted to be nominated, in this case that means the additional 19 contenders beyond the five mentioned above.