What early releases deserve recognition come January 2013?
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7. Best Original Screenplay: Whit Stillman, "Damsels in Distress"
Truthfully, there are a lot of categories where Whit Stillman's deliciously skew-whiff campus comedy deserves recognition, from Greta Gerwig's spry lead turn to the point-on, period-blurring costume design. But things must start with the dazzling verbiage of Stillman's script: 21 years ago, he was nominated in this very category for his debut, "Metropolitan," and his comic voice remains inimitable, merging literate ruminations on human behavior with nose-held anal sex gags, with nary a pause for breath between the two. It's the funniest comedy of the new decade -- at least -- and it's all down to a writerly hand that had been inactive for far too long. --Guy Lodge