There was recently a major shift in our Oscar odds. The acclaimed indie drama “Past Lives” had led our predictions for Best Original Screenplay since our predictions center opened, but it has since been overtaken by “The Holdovers.” Judging from the forecasts of all our users, however, this race is still wide open.
“The Holdovers” and “Past Lives” are so close together at the top of our odds chart that both films get 4/1 odds as of this writing. But when it comes to the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed for their predictions, “Holdovers” is the decisive front-runner. As it stands, 10 of those leading movie journos predict Alexander Payne‘s 1970s-set film about a teacher (Paul Giamatti) who supervises prep school students unable to return home for the winter holidays. This would be the third Payne film to win an Oscar for its screenplay (following “Sideways” and “The Descendants”), though it would be the first not to be co-written by Payne. This script is credited only to David Hemingson.
“Past Lives” isn’t out of the race by any means, though. Five Experts are still backing the film, written and directed by Celine Song, about childhood friends who reconnect after 20 years apart. And these aren’t the only two films with a strong chance at the title. Four Experts are betting on “Barbie,” which would give Oscar voters a chance to honor two past nominees, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. Another three Experts say it will be “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet and Arthur Harari‘s script about a writer on trial for murder after her husband’s mysterious death.
Meanwhile, Gold Derby Editors are divided five ways: in addition to the above films they think “Maestro” has a shot of winning. And our Top 24 Users are split between seven different films, adding “May December” and “Air” into the mix. So even though the current top Best Picture contenders are in the Best Adapted Screenplay race (“Oppenheimer,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Poor Things”), this is nevertheless a robust year for original scripts.
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