Oscars frontrunner ‘The Imitation Game’ wins USC Scripter Award

The Imitation Gameedged out two of its Oscar rivals for Best Adapted Screenplay — “Inherent Vice” and “The Theory of Everything” — as well as “Gone Girl” and “Wild” to win the USC Scripter Award on Saturday. The other Oscar nominees — “American Sniper” and “Whiplash” — were snubbed here.

This prize, now in its 27th year, honors films adapted from novels, short stories, comic books, journalism, and other screenplays with both the source material and the adapted screenplay feted. Both “Imitation Game” screenwriter Graham Moore and Andrew Hodges, who wrote the biography “Alan Turing: The Enigma,” were on hand at the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the USC campus to collect their awards. 

As it excludes stage-to-screen adaptations and foreign-language films, the Scripter has forecast just 10 of the eventual Oscar winners for Best Adapted Screenplay, but six of those came in the past seven years: “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “Argo” (2012), “The Descendants” (2011), “The Social Network” (2010), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), and “No Country for Old Men” (2007). The other repeat winners were “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “L.A. Confidential” (1997), “Sense and Sensibility” (1995) and “Schindler’s List” (1993).

UPDATED:: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

Last year, three of the Oscar nominees for Adapted Screenplay first contended here: double champ “12 Years a Slave” as well as “Captain Phillips” and “Philomena.” The Scripter race was rounded out by “The Spectacular Now” and “What Maisie Knew” while the Oscar category added “Before Midnight” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” 

In 2012, all five Oscar nominees were cited by the Scripter Award: “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and the winner of both prizes, “Argo.” They were joined by a sixth Scripter nominee that didn’t contend at the Oscars: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

In 2011, three of the five Scripter nominees went on to Oscar bids: “Moneyball” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” joined double-winner “The Descendants,” along with two films left out by the academy: “A Dangerous Method” and “Jane Eyre.”

In 2010, “The Social Network” faced three of the other four Scripter nominees — “127 Hours,” “True Grit” and “Winter’s Bone” — at the Oscars. The fifth Scripter contender, “The Ghost Writer,” was edged out at the Oscars by “Toy Story 3” which was ineligible for consideration here. 

In 2009, “Up in the Air” prevailed with the Scripter jury over three of its competitors at the Oscars — “District 9,” “An Education” and “Precious” — as well as “Crazy Heart.” The fifth Oscar nominee was the adapted script for “In the Loop.” However, it was “Precious” that eventually won over academy voters.

This year’s Scripter nominees were:

Gone Girl
Screenplay: Gillian Flynn
Source: her novel of the same name

X – “The Imitation Game
Screenplay: Graham Moore
Source: Andrew Hodges’ biography “Alan Turing: The Enigma”

Inherent Vice
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson
Source: Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name

The Theory of Everything
Screenplay: Anthony McCarten
Source: Jane Hawking’s memoir “Travelling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen”

Screenplay: Nick Hornby
Source: Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”

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