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2021 Oscars: Best Original Screenplay Contenders

The 93rd Academy Awards is right around the corner, highlighting the best films from January 2020 to February 2021 with an extensive list of awards and accolades in varying degrees. Of the lists available for a film to be nominated for, the Best Original Screenplay tends to be the most looked at the area for screenwriters interested in seeing what some of the best scripts of the past year were.

Although the contenders won’t be released until March, it’s always worthwhile to take a step back and make guesses on who some of the contenders will be. Although 2020 was an awful year due to the ongoing pandemic, there were still a number of fantastic films, especially some that fall under the original screenplay section.

Nevertheless, down below, we’re going to discuss ten films we feel have a good chance of being nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Keep in mind, the actual list may be significantly different than this and will only feature five nominations, but it’s still fun to guess what might end up on the list. Let’s get started!

Da 5 Bloods

Writers: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Spike Lee (Director), Kevin Willmott

The brilliance of Spike Lee is undeniable at this point as he’s made an abundance of excellent films over the years, with his most recent Da 5 Bloods being one of the best of 2020. The film tells the story of four African American Vietnam War vets when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the golden fortune he helped them hide.

Photo credit: Looper


Writer/Director: Christopher Nolan

Even if you weren’t necessarily a massive fan of Tenet, you have the be impressed with the unique storytelling from Christopher Nolan and the sheer originality Nolan constantly has in his films. The film is about a secret agent who is given a single word as his weapon as they’re sent to prevent the onset of World War III.

Photo credit: IndieWire


Writer/Director: Harry Macqueen

Supernova is a beautifully sad film about a couple, a musician and novelist, who are both embarking on a road trip as one of them begins to experience dementia. Although the film won’t be fully available until January 29th, critics are raving about it and Harry Macqueen’s masterful storytelling.

Photo credit: Deadline


Writer: Jack Fincher

Directed by the iconic David Fincher while being written by his late father David Fincher, Mank is a biographical drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his development of arguably the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane. Considering Citizen Kane is one of the most monumental films in history, a screenplay like this will surely achieve some sort of accolade.

Photo credit: Variety


Writer/Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Although not available to the full public yet, critics have been raving over Minari, a film about a Korean American family and their search for a better life as they move to a small farm in Arkansas. Given that Lee Isaac Chung has been nominated for the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award in the past, you should look forward to seeing Minari.

Photo credit: Gold Derby

On The Rocks

Writer/Director: Sofia Coppola

For yet another iconic filmmaker, Sofia Coppola is back with On The Rocks, a beautiful film about a young mother and her reconnection with her larger-than-life playboy father in New York. Personal stories are hard to craft, but Sofia Coppola, just like her father, knows how to write a great script.

Photo credit: RUSSH

Promising Young Woman

Writer/Director: Emerald Fennell

For an exciting combination of being a thriller and a comedy, Promising Young Woman is about Cassie, a stunningly smart and cunning woman, and her secret double-life she lives at night. Emerald Fennell delivered an excellent film as critics and movie buffs can’t get enough of this film.

Photo credit: Den of Geek


Writers: Pete Docter, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers, Tina Fey

Anything Pixar tends to be a home run, and Soul is no different. Soul tells the story of middle-school band teacher Joe, whose life hasn’t gone the way he expected. As Joe travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he understands what it means to have soul. The writing team of Pete Docter, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers, and Tiny Fey killed it as it’s one of the best-animated films of the year.

Photo credit: Inspired Traveler

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Writer/Director: Eliza Hittman

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a chillingly realistic and sad tale about Autumn, as she and her cousin Skylar travel across state lines to New York City to get an abortion as a minor without her parents knowing. Eliza Hittman delivers a powerful story with incredible performances from a young cast.

Photo credit: Creative Tourist

Trial of the Chicago 7

Writer/Director: Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin is arguably one of the best screenwriters of all time, and he rarely misses. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is no different and will surely be on several Oscar-worthy lists. The film is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged with conspiracy during the countercultural protests in Chicago.

Photo credit: Mint Lounge


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