Up in the Air swept all the precursors, but just came up short when the envelope was unsealed.
Did Precious deserve the win? Also, did anyone think that it had a chance to upset (this was before I joined GoldDerby, so I’m really curious).
I think all other nominees were better than Precious.
Up in the Air is quite clearly the superior screenplay here. But I was shocked to see people at the time predicting anything other than Precious in this category, and I’m still quite shocked that it’s considered an upset.
2+ people rarely win screenwriting categories. It usually goes to a singular writer. 2+ people only win (usually) when they are a well-known writing team (Coen brothers, Kaufman/Gondry, Payne/Taylor/Faxon, Affleck/Damon, Tarantino/Avary, Jackson/Walsh/Boyens).
In the case of Up in the Air, not only had Reitman/Turner not met until after the film had been completed, but Reitman had initially tried to claim sole credit for writing the film and later admitted to not having even read Turner’s complete script (only bits and pieces). This probably turned off many voters.
2. Up in the Air
3. An Education
4. District 9
5. In the Loop