This year’s crop of original scripts includes more international filmmakers and deeply personal projects from former Oscar winners.
This article contains the IndieWire prelims Best Original Screenplay forecast for 2023 Oscars. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season and repost previous versions (like this one) so readers can keep up with changes in how the race for the Oscars has changed. For the latest update on the favorites from the 95th Academy Awards, check out our Oscars 2023 Predictions Hub.
Voting for nominations will take place January 12-17, 2023, with official Oscar nominations being announced on January 24, 2023. Final voting will take place March 2-7, 2023. And finally, the 95th Academy Awards TV show will air on Sunday. March 12 and airs live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT. We’re updating predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our 2023 Oscar picks.
The state of the race
While there’s a lot to come, this year has already revealed several contenders for Best Original Screenplay. Since this specific Oscar category often celebrates storytelling ingenuity, a film like “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which tackles multiversal storytelling better than projects with 10 times its budget, is poised to make screenwriters- very familiar directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. facing the awards circuit at the 95th Academy Awards in March.
But they are already guaranteed to have plenty of company. As the Academy begins to recognize more foreign-language projects in categories other than Best International Feature Film, Cannes has become even more of a testing ground for Oscar nominees, including nominees for Best Original Screenplay, as it was among the categories Bong Joon Ho won after “Parasite” premiered at the festival.
This year, authors like Ruben Östlund and Park Chan-wook, who have already been overlooked by the Academy despite directing pivotal films like “Force Majeure” and “Oldboy” respectively, left the spring festival in the south of France with their prize-winning new films “Triangle of Sadness” and “Decision to Leave”. While the former caters to the public’s recent desire for class satire, the latter, written with Seo-kyeong Jeong, satisfies an appetite for classic Hollywood storytelling, particularly film noir.
And there’s still so much more to come out of the fall festivals, and beyond, including a trio of cinephile films: Cannes audiences have already seen James Gray’s deeply personal “Armageddon Time,” which is now followed by “The Fabelmans” by Steven Spielberg. and Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light” at the Toronto International Film Festival — two other films that immerse viewers in the environment that made screenwriters into filmmakers. A fourth film about the cinema, “Bardo (or the false chronicle of a handful of truths)”, by Oscar regular Alejandro González Iñárritu (who co-wrote with Nicolás Giacobone) revolves around a documentary filmmaker.
“TÁR” director Todd Field and “Babylon” director Damien Chazelle have already had several screenplay nominations, so it’s a safe bet they’ll be part of this awards conversation. Meanwhile, “Amsterdam” director David O. Russell has won two screenplay nominations in the past, but compared to Field and Chazelle, far more of his screenplays have gone unrecognized by the Academy. Meanwhile, several writers best known for their work in other media have original scripts that could make a play for the category if they prove strong enough: “Atlanta” scribe Stefani Robinson (“Knight”), novelist Ottessa Moshfegh (“Causeway”), and comedian Billy Eichner (“Bros”).
The Oscar contenders are listed in alphabetical order. Only movies I’ve seen will be considered favorites.
Park Chan-wook and Seo-kyeong Jeong (“Decision to Leave”)
Julia Cho, Domee Shi and Sarah Streicher (“Turning Red”)
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)
Sam Bromell, Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce (“Elvis”)
Jordan Peele (“No”)
Damien Chazelle (“Babylon”)
Todd Field (“TÁR”)
Nicolás Giacobone and Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Bardo (or false chronicle of a handful of truths)”)
Luke Goebel, Ottessa Moshfegh and Elizabeth Sanders (“Casway”)
James Gray (“Hour of Armageddon”)
Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”)
Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Sam Mendes (“Empire of Light”)
Ruben Östlund (“Triangle of Sadness”)
Stefani Robinson (“Knight”)
David O. Russell (“Amsterdam”)
Keith Beauchamp, Chinonye Chukwu and Michael Reilly (“Till”)
Bratton Elegance (“The Inspection”)
Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller (“Brothers”)
Tyler Perry (“A Jazzman’s Blues”)
Cooper Raiff (“Cha Cha Real Smooth”)
Seth Reiss and Will Tracy (“The Menu”)
Katie Silberman, Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke (“Don’t Worry Darling”)
Paul Schrader (“Master Gardener”)
Dana Stevens (“The Woman King”)
Charlotte Wells (“After Sun”)