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2013 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

2013 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 85th Academy Awards through February 24th, when the winners are announced.

There was a time when Mark Boal seemed like a fairly sure thing in this category (hell, there was a time when Paul Thomas Anderson seemed like a sure thing in this category). But with “Zero Dark Thirty” slipping in Oscar buzz (and Anderson not even nominated for “The Master”), Boal is running third behind Michael Haneke (“Amour”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”). It’s going to be a showdown between those two. Though Tarantino won back in 1995 for “Pulp Fiction,” it seems reasonable to give the man #2 this time around (they seemingly almost did in 2010, but instead gave it to Boal). But then there’s Haneke, who has never won but has three different opportunities to this year (here, best director and best foreign language film — though the latter techically goes to the country of Austria). So will voters assume he’s winning for foreign language film and vote for Tarantino? Or maybe Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola will draw sympathy that the Academy screwed over “Moonrise Kingdom” everywhere else and pull off a shocker?

Nominees and predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here, and this list of all the Oscar-nominated films available ON DEMAND right now.

The nominees:
“Amour” Written by Michael Haneke
“Django Unchained” Written by Quentin Tarantino
“Flight” Written by John Gatins
“Moonrise Kingdom” Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
“Zero Dark Thirty” Written by Mark Boal

Will win: “Django Unchained”
Could win: “Amour”
Should win: Anything but “Flight” would make me happy.

Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

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How I think it should have been:

1. Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"*(Runner-up)
2. Rian Johnson, "Looper"
3. Paul Thomas Anderson, "The Master"
4. Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, "Moonrise Kingdom"
5. Mark Boal, "Zero Dark Thirty"*(WINNER)


Zero Dark Thirty has pretty good chances. It should not be ruled out.

Whut Whut

Poor Flight :(


I think that Zero Dark Thirty will win, but it is very close.

Camilo Caballero

The script for ZDT was nothing special. The characters weren't fully developed, had its good share of cheesy lines and was too propagandist. I really think Tarantino deserves this, though Haneke did an amazing job as well. Any of those two to win and I'd be happy.

Oscar Specialist

I Predict …. Zero Dark Thirty Will Win Under This Category ……


I'll go for Mark Boal. Zero Dark Thirty must at least win something.


The best original screenplay award 2013 will be given to either Quentine Tarantino for Django or to Mark Boal for Zero Dark City.


How in the name of **** did Looper not even get nominated in this? it was by far the most original and interesting script this year.


OH! I see what's going to end, like ten years ago, everybody saying the gangs of new york will win best original screenplay, and suddenly Almodovar takes it in. I see this coming to Haneke


This award is pretty meaningless. The Master deserved it. Anderson's film got snubbed. How can you commend the actor's and not the person who created the characters? Django is highly overrated and I think its controversy allows for fairly egregious misreadings. If it were a play, or a novel, I'd love to see Harold Bloom tear it apart. There's also something to be said for the favoritism that causes Woody Allen's aversion to these awards. Moonrise Kingdom is not the best of Wes Anderson, Django is not the best of Quentin.


Zero Dark Thirty may not have gotten Director, but neither did Tarantino, so I don't see why you would think Tarantino would win this award. I predict Zero Dark Thirty.


I'm for Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, and Looper…My spoilers are Flight, Amour, Ted, Seven Psychopaths, This is 40, and Hyde Park on Hudson.

Hope Looper wins…atleast to give scifi action a boost.


Check my predictions on the screenplays at


Did anybody tell this website that Django Unchained, Les Miserables, and Amour were disqualified?


I still think Mark Boal needs to give his BOS Oscar for that mediocre thing he wrote to Tarantino for Basterds-that was a complete tragedy to rob QT of his best screenplay to date. I'd love to see Tarantino snag one this year for Django, but I'm not holding my breath. A nom will make me happy enough.

James K

Good category this year. Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained are most likely in. I really like Amour's chances too. Now this is where it gets difficult. I don't see Moonrise Kingdom going anywhere, but if it does, it'll be in this category. Looper's chances are getting higher and higher, so I'll put it in there for good measure. The last spot, God, I have no idea. The Master may be too polarizing, Flight's too formulaic, and read above about Moonrise Kingdom. I'll go for a totally out of the blue prediction and go either Seven Psychopaths or The Cabin in the Woods.


After reading "The Master" WTF did PTA do, I've read homework back when I was in kindergarten that had less spelling mistakes… AND I WAS IN KINDERGARTEN TWICE!!! If PTA spent more time on the script it probably could have likely won Best Screenplay– if not Best Picture but I guess some writers become lazy and believe that they can do whatever the fuck they want which pissess me off. Django Unchained was an original idea and seeing as basically everything fell apart with this movie and how Tarintino somehow filled in the blanks with a strong script following what he already had… it's no wonder he's the master of Genre. Besides "Seven Psychopaths" I have yet to see any of the films in contention but I would much rather watch Tarintino win a second Oscar rather then Boal who seems like a one trick pony overworking the same relative material. Django Unchained deserves to win, of course I have writen better screenplay then this but it still deserves to win.

Film Fan

The writing in Django was stellar. I am sure Zero Dark Thirty will take this, and even though I love Bigelow she already stole an original screenplay oscar from Taratino back in 2009 and it would be a shame for it to happen again. Plus Django is much more original than Dark Thirty.


Django Unchained


kathryn bigelow is so overrated…the hurt locker was a decent film but for the love of christ, it wasn't a masterpiece…she was decorated for her screenplay for the hurt locker but to me it just sounded like normal meathead jargon…if Tarantino loses to her for original screenplay then i will stop watching the oscars


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Why is The Master the lock when the script is the worst part.

jean vigo

Django Unchained straddles the territory between original and "borrowed" pastiche and motifs from several other films. Great fun it is for sure.

Ignatius J Reilly

I don't even think Zero Dark Thirty should be nominated. How has the point of film, according to Bigelow and Boal, become to take current events and turn them around into a movie. The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty will be forgotten in the years to come. Give it to a piece of art.


I mean, I love "The Master", but for screenplay? Everyone is picking that. But why? I personally love "novel" screenplays like The Master, where it doesn't follow the rules and conventions of tradional scripts. Yet, it's not traditional. If I handed that script into my teacher he'd throw it out. Is the Academy okay with non-traditional scripts like that?


I was really hoping PTA would win but now that Zero Dark Thirty is looking good he might not.


I'd really love to see "Safety Not Guaranteed," get a mention somewhere.


Wow, you added Whit Stillman and also Sarah Polley. That's pretty cool.


Whit Stillman for Damsels in Distress should get a nomination.


Seven Psychopaths! I saw it last night at the premiere. Martin McDonagh deserves to be recognized for this film, and if it can't be for best picture or director, then for his screenplay…between that and the performances, I was entertained throughout the entire film. Very funny and clever.


My guess, it's going to Moonrise Kingdom. Promised Land and Amour have a good shot at it too. As much as I love PTA, I'm not sure The Master was the best screenplay.

Ignatius J Reilly

I'm sure The Master will get a nom, but in my opinion (and many others), the writing was probably the weakest part of the movie. I think you could probably bump one of the top five out, and put in Looper. This is not a particularly good year for "original" movies, though it was much the same last year.


I guess the Oscars hate Peter Jackson, even though he is responsible for some of the best movies of the modern era


The Cabin in the Woods too much of a stretch?


Whit Stillman anyone?


Moonrise Kingdom should have this… I've only read 10 of these though.


1. The Master
2. Hyde Park on Hudson-ALT: "Sessions" if considered adapted
3. Moonrise Kingdom
4. Amour
5. Django Unchained

les grossman

definitely Quentin tarantino.i've read Django unchained script.if QT doesnt get oscar for this,Academy must b hypocrite abt shame of US slave period

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