Woody Allen has contended for Best Original Screenplay a record 15 times, winning twice (“Annie Hall,” 1977; “Hannah and Her Sisters,” 1986). Like those two films, “Midnight in Paris” is also a Best Picture nominee. Allen has already won the Golden Globe and the WGA award.
Michel Hazanavicius picked up three Oscar bids for directing, writing and editing “The Artist,” which tells the story of a fading actor (Jean Dujardin) and a rising actress (Berenice Bejo) at the onset of the talkies. Best Picture frontrunners are always strong screenplay contenders. However, this one, which was ineligible at the WGA but won BAFTA, could be hurt by the absence of spoken dialogue. “Million Dollar Baby” (2004) was the last Best Picture champ to not also win for its screenplay.
Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”) and Annie Mumolo met at the Groundlings comedy troupe years ago. They reaped their first Oscar bids for “Bridesmaids,” a raucous comedy about a woman (Wiig) who is an unwilling maid of honor for her best friend. This is the first recognition for a pair of female scripters since Nora Eprhon and Alice Arlen contended for “Silkwood” in 1983.
Asghar Farhadi penned “A Separation,” a film in Farsi an Iranian couple whose divorce proceedings are further complicated by a court case involving an elderly parent. The Los Angeles critics awarded it Best Screenplay. Five other foreign language films won this award — the French “Marie-Louise” (1945) and “A Man and a Woman” (1966); the Italian “The Red Balloon” (1956) and “Divorce Italian Style” (1962); and the Spanish “Talk to Her” (2002).
J.C. Chandor reaped a bid for his first film “Margin Call,” which he also directed. The action takes place during the first 24 hours of the 2008 financial meltdown.
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