This year's field of originals and adaptations is incredibly dense
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"Rush" - Peter Morgan (Original Screenplay)
Pros: This branch has been good to Morgan before, nominating him in original "The Queen" and in adapted for "Frost/Nixon" -- both films examples of the fact-based but speculative narratives that are his forte. So is "Rush," and that may be enough for a vote or two from his most admiring peers.
Cons: The script isn't one of Morgan's more nuanced work -- a number of critics have taken issue with its racing-as-life metaphors -- while its subject lacks the gravitas of his nominated works. Ron Howard's film didn't find an audience upon release in September, and buzz has steadily dwindled across all categories.
- Guy Lodge