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.
"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.