The writing categories of the Oscars, though they seem pretty straightforward, are often some of the most troublesome. Voters aren't going to go out and read the nominated scripts, so you end up with winners that reflect the other categories.
That's the case this year in both the adapted and original categories. To get a sense of how thing will go down in the most literary of Oscar categories, I've broken down the two with predictions and personal picks.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Who Will Win: "12 Years a Slave"
The Best Picture votes for "12 Years a Slave" will probably be enough to carry it to a win in the writing category. If there's going to be any upset here, it will be Terrence Winters' f-bomb-filled script for "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Who Should Win: "Before Midnight"
This movie is nothing but dialogue, and not only that. It's the smartest script of the year. Richard Linklater's third movie of the Jesse and Celine series may be the best of the bunch, but its awards strength hasn't been enough to get a win on Oscar night. Just do yourself a favor and watch it.
Best Original Screenplay
Who Will Win: "American Hustle"
David O. Russell is begging, just begging for an Oscar at this point, and with the crowd-pleasing "American Hustle" falling behind in the Best Picture race, this will be his consolation prize.
Who Should Win: "Her"
Here lies the biggest travesty of the 2013 awards season. Spike Jonze's "Her" is a modern classic, and a lot of that has to do with the intelligence in his script. It's just a shame that the movie proved to be a little too strange for the more conservative tastes within the Academy.