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Writers Guild Predictions and Preview — Pressure Is On in Original Screenplay

The WGA awards and the Scripter Awards are happening this weekend. The Scripter will be Saturday and the WGA will be Sunday. This could be one of the most important awards in terms of figuring out which film might win Best Picture if it doesn’t go The Shape of Water’s way. That’s only if the Best Picture winner isn’t also a screenplay winner, which they almost always are.

Here are the ways each of them COULD win:

Lady Bird seems poised to win not so much because of its screenplay but because Greta Gerwig has become such a force publicity wise this year. Steven Spielberg requested to sit with her at the nominees luncheon, for instance. Also, needless to say, the so-called Year of the Woman along with the #MeToo movement could propel her further than she might have gone otherwise. Not to say that Lady Bird isn’t a worthy script — in a less competitive year it would ace this category. It’s just that it is so tightly bonded with Best Picture that the pressure is on where it might not otherwise be.

Get Out could win and is currently being predicted to win by our readers. Whereas Lady Bird tells a funny, personal story, Get Out tells a personal story but also goes a bit further in terms of originality. Get Out is brilliantly conceived as well as being funny and very quotable. No one is going to leave Oscars 2018 not knowing what the “sunken place” is. As much as women are fighting to be heard, the black film community is also on the rise.

The Shape of Water might upset both Get Out and Lady Bird, which seem to somehow be canceling each other out so far. With brilliant dialogue and a well-formed screenplay, Shape is one of three original screenplay nominees with a female writer, which means that voting for Greta Gerwig as the only female is taken off the table. Also, The Big Sick, Shape of Water. AND I, Tonya are stories ABOUT women, which means that having a female lead isn’t necessarily an advantage in this category. Although it might be.

Without Three Billboards here, there is no way to tell whether that movie is still as popular as it was when it won the SAG ensemble award. The BAFTAs the following week could answer that question.

I doubt that either The Big Sick or I, Tonya can beat three Best Picture contenders. but you never know.

The Adapted Screenplay race looks like a shoo-in for James Ivory and Call Me By Your Name for the WGA and the Scripter. But Dee Rees and Virgil Williams’ adaptation of Mudbound is a formidable competitor, especially now that Mudbound is catching much word-of-mouth, not to mention Rees being only the second black female writer ever nominated in adapted screenplay.

Either way, we’ll find out the winners this weekend and go from there. Here are our predictions.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Big Sick, Written by Emily V. Gordon Kumail Nanjiani; Amazon Studios
Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele; Universal Pictures – Sasha Stone, Marshall Flores, Ryan Adams
I, Tonya, Written by Steven Rogers; Neon
Lady Bird, Written by Greta Gerwig; A24 – Clarence Moye
The Shape of Water, Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro; Fox Searchlight – Jazz Tangcay

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory; Based on the Novel by André Aciman; Sony Pictures Classics – Stone, Flores, Adams, Moye, Tangcay
The Disaster Artist, Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; Based on the Book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell; A24
Logan, Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold; Based on Characters from the X-Men Comic Books and Theatrical Motion Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox Film
Molly’s Game, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Molly Bloom; STX Entertainment
Mudbound, Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees; Based on the Novel by Hillary Jordan; Netflix