Which original scripts and adaptations will reap Oscar glory this year?
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'The Master' - Paul Thomas Anderson - Original Screenplay
Pro: Years before the Academy at large latched onto Anderson's gifts with “There Will Be Blood” in 2007, the writers' branch was in his corner: both “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” scored nods in this category. His imposing, ambitious new work should follow the path of those films even if this critics' darling proves too remote for Best Picture attention; there's a widespread perception outside the Academy that Anderson is due an award, and this is the branch likeliest to feel the same way.
Con: Though not the mind-bender some reviews would have you believe, many viewers have been left flummoxed by what they see as the opacity of Anderson's storytelling – and would hold the script to blame.
- Guy Lodge