'Leviathan' or 'Winter Sleep?' Cotillard or Dorval? Carell or Spall?
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It frequently amazes me that festival juries have as basic an understanding of what constitutes great writing as Oscar voters do: nine times out of 10, the film that sounds most academically literate will take this particular prize. If Campion's jury are looking for a "Most Screenplay" candidate, than Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Winter Sleep" will be hard to beat -- it's 196 minutes of near wall-to-wall dialogue as characters argue in circles on intellectual matters, while Ceylan goes so far as to throw a Chekhov shout-out in the closing credits. (The protagonist is even a writer himself!) He could lose, I think, only if the film takes a loftier prize -- or if, just maybe, the jurors agree that great scripts are more shown than told. If so, any number of plausible candidates are in the frame, none more deserving than the meticulously researched, daringly dramatized "Foxcatcher."
Will win: Nuri Bilge and Ebru Ceylan, "Winter Sleep"
Could win: Alice Rohwacher, "The Wonders"; Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, "Foxcatcher"; Paul Laverty, "Jimmy's Hall"
Should win: Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, "Foxcatcher"