Oscar analysis: Bad day for 'Argo,' 'Les Mis' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'

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Best Original Screenplay

Amour, Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Flight, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

A week ago, I’d have said Boal was leading the group for his original reportorial work crafting the script for Zero Dark Thirty, but that film has come under attack from so many quarters — often unfairly — that it may be capsizing him. The lack of a Best Director nod for Kathryn Bigelow is a very obvious bad sign.

This category would seem to be very much up in the air.

Prize Fighter Score:
Four for five. This is a tough category, since writers tend to vote outside the mainstream of films being widely considered for best picture. In my mind, it was a toss-up between Gatins for Flight and Rian Johnson’s time-travel mindbender Looper, which each had a lot of fans among writers in the Academy. I went with Looper, but hey … good on Gatins. He’s a great guy, and worked for a decade to get Flight made. He deserves this nomination, and even though I was wrong, I was cheering for him.

Lesson Learned: Academy writers aren’t typically down with sci-fi, and that doesn’t seem to be changing.

Next Page: The Best Adapted Screenplay category …

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