CATEGORIES Oscars, Cinematical


With the Oscars creeping up quickly this Sunday, many people are plunking down bets for their favorite films (while debating the pros and cons of Four Loko at their Oscar party). One category that often gets overlooked is Best Screenplay, because most people outside of Hollywood (or hardcore nerds) don't read them. A very precise form of writing, they're not always fun to peruse, but sometimes there's a lot to be admired in a solid script.

It comes down to two categories for Best Screenplay: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. The first category is exactly what it sounds like -- original material that has not been pulled from an outside source. The latter is borrowed from a book or other source and is then adapted for the big screen. This year's biggest contenders for Best Screenplay are 'The King's Speech' (written directly for the screen) and 'The Social Network' (based on material).

While many are predicting 'The King's Speech' to grab the screenplay Oscar as part of a larger sweep, there's a strong contingent rooting for Christopher Nolan's 'Inception,' especially since he didn't nab a directing nomination. Although the film encouraged conversation, and it'd be nice to see his talked-about work recognized, movies with sci-fi leanings don't usually win. However, 'King's Speech' is also a front-runner for Best Picture, which is often a gimme for Best Screenplay.

Check out all the nominated scripts after the jump ...

Aaron Sorkin's script for 'The Social Network' seems like a shoo-in for its razor-sharp wit, complexity and contemporary relevance. A movie about people talking for 120 minutes is hard to pull off without a decent screenplay, and Sorkin's work manages to keep us fully engaged throughout.

Brush up on all the Best Screenplay nominees below by going right to the source and digging into the dialogue for yourself. (Click on the link to read each screenplay.)

Make your final predictions in the comments section.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

'Another Year,' by Mike Leigh

'The Fighter,' by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson

'Inception,' by Christopher Nolan

'The Kids Are All Right,' by Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg

'The King's Speech,' by David Seidler

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

'127 Hours,' by Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy

'Toy Story 3,' by Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

'True Grit,' by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

'Winter's Bone,' by Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini

'The Social Network,' by Aaron Sorkin


[giant hat-tip to RainDance]