Oscar Analysis 2014: Breaking Down The Best Adapted Screenplay Race

By Eric Eisenberg 2014-01-23 00:57:33discussion comments
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Before Midnight
CONTENDERS: Before Midnight and The Wolf Of Wall Street
At the end of every Oscar race there is typically only one winner (the exception being the incredibly rare tie), but there are always titles in each category that you can imagine came up just short when all of the votes were tallied. In the case of this year’s Best Adapted Screenplay race, we predict that those two titles will be Terence Winter’s The Wolf of Wall Street and Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply’s Before Midnight.

A big part of what elevates Winter’s role in the race from "Dark Horse" to "Contender" for his Wolf of Wall Street script is Quentin Tarantino’s big win for Django Unchained last year. The Academy is notorious for not touching controversial movies with a 10-foot pole – and The Wolf of Wall Street is nothing if not controversial – but Tarantino’s big win last year in the Original Screenplay category demonstrated that the organization behind the Oscars can recognize great work even when its filled with various kinds of profanity, sex and violence.

Helping Linklater’s Before Midnight’s status in the race is not only a lack of controversy, but also an impressive history. All three Before films – including 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset - have been adored by cinephiles, making it one of the most critically-beloved trilogies ever, but with the exception of a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for the second film the movies have never seen any Oscar love. Perhaps this will be the year that the Academy rewards Linklater, Hawke and Deply for 11 years of brilliant filmmaking.
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