The Original Screennplay category is the most liberal of all of the Oscar categories with foreign language nominations going back to the Forties and “Un Homme et Une Femme” winning in 1966.
AND THE NOMINEES FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY WILL BE:
BEING THE RICARDOS (Aaron Sorkin) Although a nod from the Directors Branch looks unlikely, Sorkin should easily land his fifth screenplay nomination for his week in the life of Lucy and Desi circa 1952. Already an Oscar winner for his landmark Best Original Screenplay for “The Social Network” in 2010, he also has three Adapted Screenplay nominations for “Moneyball” in 2011, “Molly’s Game” in 2017 and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” in 2020.
BELFAST (Kenneth Branagh) Already anointed as the front runner, this would be Branagh’s first nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Of course, with his Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for “Hamlet” in 1996, he is still the only person ever nominated for adapting Shakespeare. Add to this nominations for Best Director and Best Actor for “Henry V” in 1989, a Best Supporting Actor nod for “My Week with Marilyn” in 2011 and even a Best Live Action Short nomination for “Swan Song” in 1992 and, if, as expected, he gets a nod from the Directors Branch, with “Belfast”, his total comes to seven. Impressive!
KING RICHARD (Zach Baylin) For giving Will Smith one of the best roles of his career and an almost certain Oscar, Zach Baylin should easily make the list. His first Oscar nomination.
LICORICE PIZZA (Paul Thomas Anderson) Mr. Anderson back in the Valley with what should be his third Original Screenplay nomination following “Boogie Nights” (1997) and “Magnolia” (1999). Add to this nominations for Adapted Screenplay for “There Will Be Blood” (2007) and “Inherent Vice” (2014), Best Director nods for “There will be Blood” and “Phantom Thread” and two Best Film nominations, this would make nomination number nine!
PARALLEL MOTHERS (Pedro Almodovar) His best film in two decades (since “Live Flesh”), with a certain Best Actress nomination for Penelope Cruz, Almodovar should make the final cut. If he does, this would be his second nomination for Best Original Screenplay following his Oscar win for “Talk to Her” in 2002. If he gets a Directors Branch nod as well, this would be his seventh nomination overall with a Best Director nod for “Talk to Her” and three International Film nods for “Women on the Verge” (1988), “All About My Mother” (1999) and “Pain and Glory” in 2019.
AND SIX ADDITIONAL CONTENDERS:
C’mon C’mon (Mike Mills). Another festival favorite. Writer/director Mike Mills is in line for a his second nomination in this category after “20th Century Women” nabbed a position in 2016.
Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen and Amin) Highly favored to make the Best International Film list, it could land on the Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Documentary and Best Animated Feature lists as well.
The Hand of God (PAULO SORRENTINO). The former Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2013 (“The Great Beauty”) will almost certainly be back in the Best International Film category, again representing Italy, with his highly praised “The Hand of God”. He could also nab a Best Original Screenplay nomination.
A Hero (Asghar Farhadi) Highly favored to make the Best International Film list, it could land on the Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay lists as well.
Spencer (Steven Knight). The film’s plays loose with the facts, with has irritated some viewers. However, Kristin Stewart’s uncanny interpretation of Diana makes her the favorite for Best Actress and Knight is very much in the running for his second Best Original Screenplay nomination following “Dirty Pretty Things” in 2003.
The Worst Person in the World (JOACHIM TRIER) With the final piece in his Oslo trilogy, Trier has delivered his most perfect film to date. So good, in fact, that if may end up on the Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Director lists.