Which original scripts and adaptations will reap Oscar glory this year?
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' - Phillipa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh - Adapted Screenplay
Pro: Jackson's team scored in this category for the first and last parts of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, even winning for the finale – if their return to Tolkien territory takes off as a contender in other major categories, they could get swept in again, particularly with del Toro (whom the writers nominated in 2006 for “Pan's Labyrinth”) as an added draw. Most pundits are currently playing down the film's Oscar chances, which would work in its favor if it truly wows.
Con: There's a consensus among awards analysts that the moment may have passed: having done their duty by handing 11 Oscars to “The Return of the King,” many voters won't feel compelled to recognize this film on a major scale. Meanwhile, there's much skepticism about Jackson's decision to spin Tolkien's slender volume into three films: will fellow writers feel the padding?
- Guy Lodge