Is ’12 Years a Slave’ unstoppable for Adapted Screenplay Oscar?

While “12 Years a Slavemay not be the lock for Best Picture that it once was, it looks like it has the Adapted Screenplay Oscar in the bag. 

All but three of our 23 Experts are predicting that novelist turned screenwriter John Ridley (“Red Tails”) will prevail for adapting Solomon Northup‘s 1853 memoir about his dozen years in servitude in the South. 

Scott Feinberg (The Hollywood Reporter) and Susan Wloszczyna ( are backing the bid by Emmy champ Terence Winter (“The Sopranos”) for his version of Jordan Belfort‘s candid memoir “The Wolf of Wall Street.”  

And Keith Simanton (IMDb) is predicting that Tracy Letts will get an Oscar for reworking his Pulitzer and Tony-winning play “August: Osage County” for the big screen.  

Fourth on the list of likely nominees is “Before Midnight” which contends in this category as it is a sequel. Director Richard Linklater and stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke were nominated in 2004 for “Before Sunset,” the second film in the trilogy. 

Rounding out the top five is “Captain Phillips” scribe Billy Ray who turned “A Captain’s Duty”  — Richard Phillips‘ recounting of being taken hostage — into a tense thriller. 

Last year, Chris Terrio won this award for crafting a magazine article and Tony Mendez‘s memoir into the script for Best Picture champ “Argo.” Five of the last 10 Best Picture winners also won Oscars for their adapted screenplay. To take the top prize, a film must usually reap at least a writing bid, if not a win. Indeed, the last Best Picture winner to be snubbed for its script was “Titanic” (1997). 

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