“Women Talking” writer-director Sarah Polley continues to build momentum in the race for the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
We’ll keep updating these predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for our 2023 Oscars picks. The final vote will take place between March 2 and 7, 2023. The 95th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 12th and will air live on ABC at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.
See IndieWire’s previous Oscar predictions for this category and more here.
State of the species
One Oscar category that had a clear front-runner this awards season: Best Adapted Screenplay. Women Talking by Sarah Polley, an adaptation of the 2018 novel by Miriam Toews, is about a group of Mennonite women who decide whether to leave or stay and fight against male sexual predators within their colony. It doesn’t even distinguish between original and adaptation—a feat in such a strong Best Original Screenplay year.
While it’s hard to compete with some of the Canadian filmmaker’s strengths, such as his love for the Academy’s auteurs, or his Best Picture nomination for “Women Talking,” Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Living” screenplay has also received a lot of accolades. Although technically an adaptation of a Tolstoy novel, the Nobel Prize-winning writer’s screenplay will appeal to the many Akira Kurosawa-loving cinephiles, as the Japanese icon adapted the same story for his 1952 film “Ikiru.” However, “Live,” which did not receive a Best Picture nomination, is an uphill battle for Ishiguro to win the Oscar.
The two screenwriting teams that made it to the big category for films do not face this problem. “Top Gun: Maverick” writers Ehren Kruger, Christopher McQuarrie and Eric Warren Singer face the Academy’s bias against sequels, but they have a great story behind how they revived the long-dormant franchise to become arguably the biggest blockbuster of 2022 . In addition, McQuarrie is already an Oscar winner for writing “The Usual Suspects”.
Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell wrote “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which is up for both Best Picture and Best International Feature, so it’ll get a lot of eyes, but straightforward war pictures don’t usually win in the screenplay categories. The film is likely to win elsewhere as it is up for a total of nine Oscars.
Meanwhile, another Netflix film, “The Onion: Knives,” has just this one nomination — the second script for the “Kives Out” franchise — but even when the Academy awards sequels, they usually wait for final film. out the Oscars (“Avatar” is another series that’s probably in the same boat).
The nominees are listed below in order of probability of winning.
Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)
Kazuo Ishiguro (“Live”)
Ehren Kruger, Christopher McQuarrie and Eric Warren Singer (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
Rian Johnson (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”)
Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell (“Quiet on the Western Front”)
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