Woody Allen has dominated the race to decide the year's best screenplay, winning the Golden Globe for "Midnight in Paris," but when the Academy Awards split up the category into Adapted and Original, the former proves much harder to predict.
Based on critic and guild awards, the competition for Best Adapted Screenplay comes down to two films: "Moneyball" and "The Descendants." Each has won significant prizes in the past few months, so the category could result in one of the night's few genuine surprises.
Here are our predictions for Best Adapted Screenplay:
Who Will Win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for "The Descendants." Unfortunately, this will be the film's consolation prize in a night dominated by Jean Dujardin and "The Artist." Without all of the hype surrounding Michel Hazanavicius' silent film, the story of a soon-to-be widower in Hawaii would be the odds-on favorite to take Best Picture and Actor. True to his reputation, Payne and his co-writers crafted a subtle, sad and touching film that keeps you laughing the entire way through. He has proven himself to be one of our most consistent auteurs. And although Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian's screenplay for "Moneyball" deserves its spot as a front-runner, Sorkin's win for "The Social Network" only happened a year ago.
Who Should Win: Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." Straughan and his late wife O'Connor faced the challenge of not only adapting a beloved novel, but one that had been previously adapted into a beloved miniseries. In transforming John le Carré's book for the screen, the writing team crafted a story that confused audiences but never entirely lost them. The film broke box-office records with its limited release and proved successful despite its complexity. The screenplay for "Tinker Tailor" stands out not only because of the tragic story of the married couple who wrote it -- O'Connor died of cancer shortly after finishing the script -- but the level of success that came out of such a difficult assignment.
Who should win Best Adapted Screenplay? Sound off below!
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