I'm not alone in my over-enthusiasm for the grand portion of the screenplay nominations this year. Along with the spectacular triad of "Midnight in Paris", "The Artist", and "A Separation" over in the original screenplay bracket, we again have three rather deserving nods here, along with two deliveries of Academy filler. By that, I speak inevitably of "The Descendants", which is more than likely to win for its light and toothless addressing of family issues, alongside some odd attempts at humor. I'm also talking about "Hugo", whose script may be the biggest thing that this piece has against it. The film's beauty may have washed over me if it weren't scripted so painfully obvious.
But escaping those problem factors that will of course win, there are some mighty fine nominations here. "The Ides of March" is a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. The film may be no massive success, but it is quite entertainingly constructed, especially through its charming off-the-tongue dialogue. You can consider me an apologist on behalf of "Moneyball", whose script I've bashed for not quite being the same level of charm as "The Social Network", but these are honestly two different beasts. This one has frills in different places, and it just happens to be handling a subject that's not of such scintillating excitement. There are plenty moments where the script was to such a tee that it made me feel something.
But in the end, the main excitement about this race is "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", which it's just a pleasure to have it even nominated in this category. It was such an outside chance as it was, but the writers branch seem to have a soft spot for the British sensibility. They managed to notice the charms of "Another Year" from the year previous. One kind of wishes the choices here were reciprocated by the Best Picture category, and not the other way around. They can tell what's better in script. How come they can't in terms of the finished product?
WILL WIN: "The Descendants"
SHOULD WIN: "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: "Drive"
1. "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
3. "The Ides of March"
4. "The Descendants"