The screenplay categories are really strong this year. Both Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay have four of their five nominees also up for Best Picture. And while that isn’t necessarily a rare thing, it does help us narrow things down just a little bit. Is “The Two Popes” adaptation a threat if it’s not a BP nom? Same for the brilliant “Knives Out” for Original Screenplay? Probably not. On the Adapted side, Greta Gerwig’s script for “Little Women” is getting attention, and deservedly so. Though it’s a film that has been done before, her version is brilliant and timely, though the time period is well more than a century ago. Because she was snubbed for a Best Director nomination, voters could see this as a chance to give her an Oscar, which would leave “The Irishman” up short. For Original Screenplay, Quentin Tarantino is a safe bet for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” But the love the Academy seems to have for “Parasite” could make that a threat given how unique of a story it is from Bong Joon Ho, also up against Tarantino for Best Director.
– Matt Erickson, Times Correspondent
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