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'Moneyball' leads strong field for Adapted Screenplay Oscar

By Adam Waldowski
Nov 30 2011 17:12 pm

"Moneyball" claimed the first major screenplay prize of the year when it won over the New York Film Critics Circle Tuesday. Both of the scribes who adapted the bestseller by Michael Lewis are already Oscar champs -- Aaron Sorkin won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar last year for "The Social Network" while his co-writer Steve Zaillian claimed this award back in 1993 for "Schindler's List." Zaillian could also be nominated this year for his adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" adaptation.

Other Oscar winners looking for bookends include: Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump," 1994) who could contend with the 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"; Alexander Payne ("Sideways," 2004) who adapted "The Descendants" with Nat Faxon and Jim Rush; and Christopher Hampton ("Dangerous Liaisons," 1988) who adapted his play "A Dangerous Method."

Screenwriters who previously competed in the Best Original Screenplay race who this year have adaptations include: George Clooney and Grant Heslov ("Good Night, and Good Luck," 2005) with the political drama "The Ides of March," adapted with Beau Willimon from his play "Farrgut North"; and Lee Hall ("Billy Elliot," 2000) and Richard Curtis ("Four Weddings and a Funeral," 1994) who brought the children's novel "War Horse" to the screen. 

Another strong contender is "The Help," Tate Taylor's adaptation of a bestselling novel about African-American maids in 1960s Mississippi.

Among the other potential nominees are: "Albert Nobbs," "Carnage," "Coriolanus," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," "Hugo," "Jane Eyre," "My Week with Marilyn," "The Adventures of Tintin," "The Skin I Live In," "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "We Bought a Zoo" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin."

After reviewing the complete category handicapping, enter your Best Adapted Screenplay predictions here.

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