- The Tree of Life – Terrence MalickHe received rave reviews and awarding him here could be a compromise, a lot of people could get behind.
- Midnight in Paris – Woody AllenHis nomination pretty much looks like a done deal at the moment, the question is : could he win ? AGAIN ?
- J. Edgar – Dustin Lance BlackHe is a recent winner and he will probably excel this one, as well. Having said that, I must admit I'm not a big fan of biopics in the original screenplay category.
- Young Adult – Diablo CodyJuno was a hit. Jennifer's Body was a miss. United States of Tara was something between the two. BUT he is reunited with Jason Reitman here and THAT duo WAS a hit.
- The Iron Lady – Abi Morgan
- The Artist – Michael HazanaviciusEarly word is truly great, and this way they could honor the director without giving him a bd-nod.
- Beginners – Mike MillsExcellent reviews but way too early release date. Although it is worth mentioning that Focus DID get a script nomination for a similar summer release last year.
- Win Win – Thomas McCarthy, Joe TiboniOne of the most consistent writer-directors in the business (by the way I still can't believe he is also an actor playing characters like 'stepdad a.k.a. first casualty in '2012' etc.), but this time around the early release date could be a damaging factor impossible to overcome in the end...I hope I'm wrong, because I LOVED Win Win.
- Meek's Cutoff – Jonathan RaymondRave reviews, early release date, lackluster Box Office...unfortunately that's a combination that get's overlooked frequently.
- Contagion – Scott Z. BurnsIt has to be REALLY good considering it has to overcome the Academy's 'sci-fi-dislike'.
- Super 8 – J.J. AbramsOne of the most talented screenwriters in Hollywood, he is kind of like Aaron Sorkin : brilliant TV work, critically acclaimed feature scripts, yet no Oscar-love...maybe this will break the ice ?
- 50 / 50 – Will ReiserIt could go either way, for what it's worth, the trailer was decent.
- Like Crazy – Drake Doremus, Ben York JonesIt will be probably too small for the Academy.
- Shame – Abi Morgan, Steve McQueenAbi Morgan again AND Hunger's outstanding Steve McQueen...promising.
- Melancholia – Lars von TrierEven if the film weren't divisive (it is), Lars von Trier isn't very popular at the moment and as terrible as it sounds, the Awards Season is all about popularity.
- Take Shelter – Jeff NicholsThe script sounds outstanding, but it could be too indie in the end.
- This must be the place – Umberto Contarello, Paolo SorrentinoOnce again, it looks like a one-man-show...and that man is Sean Penn.
- In Time – Andrew NiccolI consider him a remarkably good screenwriter (Truman Show, Gattaca), so I can see this one breaking out in a big way, but we need some solid early word first and even then, it's a sci-fi and we all know that that's not exactly the Academy's cup of tea.
- In the Land of Blood and Honey – Angelina JolieI'm fascinated whether she could pull off this 'writer-director' thing or not. But once again, she'll need some decent festival-play to register in the long run.
- Bridesmaids – Kristen Wiig, Annie MumoloI was reluctant to mention this film here, but then I realized : if Borat could get a screenplay nomination, I'm sure as hell, Bridesmaids has a (tiny) shot, too. The fact that Kristen Wiig is a beloved TV-star celebrating her first solo hit this year, helps too.
- Larry Crowne – Tom Hanks, Nia VardalosI have to confess, I'm not big on Nia Vardalos and her writing style, but taking everything into account, this might be a ridiculously charming little comedy in the end...and if THAT happens, the screenwriters will have a shot. Although for now it looks more like a generic, 'mediocre to good' romantic comedy.
- The Impossible – Sergio G. SánchezThe story is amazing so if the film isn't all over the place AND finally gets a publicity push (it is ridiculously under the radar at the moment), Sánchez could be a viable contender.
- Violet and Daisy – Geoffrey FletcherHe has just won for Precious and he is back with his directorial debut this year...hopefully he'll fare better than other 'Oscar-winning screenwriters turned directors'....I'm looking at you, Dustin Lance Black and William Monahan !
- Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean DurkinIf somehow it manages to stay on the map, it might have a shot in the end.
- Peace, Love and Misunderstanding – Joseph Muszynski, Christina MengertThe story sounds familiar (Georgia Rule) and considering the comparable film, that's definitely not a compliment. Having said that, it does have potential, so we'll just have tow wait and see.
OUT (for now)
Machine Gun Preacher – Jason Keller
Hanna – Seth Lochhead, David Farr
Anonymous – John Orloff
W.E. - Madonna, Alek Keshishian
Our Idiot Brother – David Schisgall, Evgenia Peretz
Another Earth – Brit marling, Mike Cahill
Source Code – Ben Ripley