Which original scripts and adaptations will reap Oscar glory this year?
'Les Misérables' - William Nicholson - Adapted Screenplay
Pro: Veteran playwright and screenwriter Nicholson – previously nominated for “Shadowlands” and “Gladiator” – is effectively taking on a double-shot of lofty source material here: not just the most successful stage musical of all time, but the epic novel that inspired it. Some writers may vote for it on prestige alone, particularly if the film becomes – as many suspect it will – a cross-category juggernaut.
Con: Musicals tend to have a harder time finding recognition in the screenplay categories than anywhere else – even an Academy favorite like “The Sound of Music” wasn't nominated here, for example – and Nicholson will have to overcome the likely perception in some quarters that he's merely transcribed the stage book into screenplay format. It would appear the film isn't entirely sticking to the stage production's all-sung format, but if the songs dominate, the writers may look elsewhere.
- Guy Lodge