Neil Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell for District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious
Nick Hornby for An Education
Armando Iannucci for In the Loop
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up in the Air
Contrary to the original screenplay category, this one is really a no-brainer. Jason Reitman’s and Sheldon Turner’s delightful love&sex story with a twist for Up in the Air has a lock on the race. In fact, the film has been the critics’ darling for a good part of the year and was at some point out front for the Best Picture trophy. It has inevitably lost steam in that category, which now seems to be a jaw-dropping race between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, with Inglorious Basterds having a serious shot at an upset.
To bestow a writing award to Up in the Air is therefore a perfect way to acknowledge the virtues of a film that, although overrated in my opinion, nobody seems to dislike.
It has won every precursor award up to now and it will win the Oscar, too.
Admittedly, the competition is far from fierce this year. District 9’s Neil Blomkamp and Terri Tatched can be happy enough to be recognised for their writing in an unconventional sci-fi flick, Precious stands out for its acting more than for anything else, while Nick Hornby’s Oscar nod is due to his fame as a novelist, not to his achievement in adapting Lynn Barber’s memoir for An Education.
And then there is In the Loop. Some months ago, when Imitation of Life was in its budding phase, I went to see the film in a cold and rainy night in Stockholm. I knew nothing about it, least of all that it was an adaptation of a popular British TV series, but it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable cinema experiences of the year. In the Loop is a fast paced political screwball comedy packed with witty dialogue and top performances.
Back then I predicted (and wished) that the film would snag Oscar nods for its script and for Peter Capaldi’s hilarious turn as the full-mouthed British communications chief.
Only half of my dream has come true, and I wish it could go all the way and pull an upset against Up in the Air, but I’m afraid it won’t.
WILL WIN: J. Reiman and S. Turner for Up in the Air
SHOULD WIN: Armando Iannucci for In the Loop
POSSIBLE UPSET: It just won’t happen