Oscars 2016 Winner Prediction: Best Adapted Screenplay

Without Aaron Sorkin’s Golden Globe win for Steve Jobs as a frontrunner in this category, it makes any one of these nominees possible to win. The more likely to win is The Big Short, which crafted a dense film about the 2008 financial crisis, but did it in a way that allowed for audiences to be educated yet entertained at the same time. More importantly, The Big Short was sure to craft memorable characters that one could associate with, especially when watching it in a contemporary light. Additionally, with The Big Short being a heavy contender in the Best Picture category with its recent PGA win, that could translate into a Screenplay win. The vast majority of Best Picture winners typically win Screenplay as well, which will undoubtedly happen if The Big Short were to win. Yet more importantly, The Big Short won the WGA in the Adapted Screenplay category, which all but confirms its eventual win at the Oscars.

Since The Big Short has gotten much attention recently, any win in this category other than it would be considered a great upset. Nonetheless, The Big Short does have worthy competition. The Martian took a novel that easily could have been adapted differently, but instead stayed faithful to the source material and weaved together a dramatic film that still managed to have its funny moments, as it does within the novel (largely thanks to Matt Damon’s acting). Brooklyn‘s script truly offered something special to moviegoers with a simple story, yet one that audiences could resonate with. Brooklyn’s themes of love and the complexities of life is still very much relevant to today and Brooklyn beautifully told that classic story from a different vantage.

Carol took a story about defiant love during a controlling, repressive era and evoked one of the most beautiful, yet heartbreaking stories of the year. Carol is perhaps The Big Short’s largest threat since the script is largely about social situations and body language, which very much like the source material, is where the “dialogue” of the film is most at: What is not said. Carol possesses extraordinary script writing. Unfortunately, with voters snubbing Carol in both the Best Picture and Director categories, it is likely they will not sway in the direction of a win in this category.

Nor will voters likely sway in the direction of awarding Room with a win in this category, even though it deserves it the most. Emma Donoghue’s adaption of her own novel perfectly captures the perception of a 5 year old child among a world he has never fully understood. Room is a dense film with dense situations, yet there is such hope and courage through the script that is conveyed through the film’s child vision. This is an exceedingly difficult form of writing to achieve. Easily such a film could over-simplify or become obnoxious in form.  Room is perfection in screenwriting and it is the most deserving to win, despite the fact it will likely not.

The Nominees:
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Will Win: The Big Short
Could Win: Carol
Should Win: Room
Could Upset: Carol

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