Best Screenplay Oscar predictions: ‘La La Land’ & ‘Moonlight’ will win says top scorer Joseph Schiltz

“My general philosophy in predicting the screenplay categories is to lead with the strongest Best Picture player eligible in the category,” says Gold Derby reader Joseph Schiltz (screen name James_Fenimore), who scored a terrific 81.94% when predicting the 2017 Oscar nominations. He actually tied with JasonOsia with that percentage but had the better point total of 62,938 by using the 500 super bets wisely. Below, see this reader’s current Oscar picks for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, and then be sure to make your own Oscar predictions.

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The five nominees for Best Original Screenplay are “Hell or High Water,” “La La Land,” “The Lobster,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “20th Century Women” Schiltz’s choice is “La La Land,” while our Oscar experts opt for “Manchester by the sea.”

Schiltz continues, “The only exceptions come when the Best Picture winner is one that noticeably favors visuals/music over dialogue, like ‘Chicago’ (a musical) and ‘The Artist’ (a silent movie). That might imply that ‘Manchester’ could win, as ‘La La Land’ is a musical. That being said, ‘La La Land’ has already pulled off some surprising victories, like at the Globes, or near-victories, like tying with the ‘Manchester’ screenplay at the Critics’ Choice Awards (where I had been expecting ‘Manchester’ to win easily). So I’m getting the feeling that ‘La La Land’s’ screenplay is getting swept up in the love for a movie as a whole, and I predict that will continue at the Oscars. I’m curious to see how WGA and BAFTA will turn out, though.”

Gold Derby’s Top 24 Users predict the Oscar winners


The five nominees for Best Original Screenplay are “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “Lion” and “Moonlight.” Schiltz’s pick is “Moonlight,” which also has the best odds to prevail according to our Oscar experts.

“I feel a bit more safe predicting ‘Moonlight’ here,” Schiltz explains. “Again, it’s the strongest Best Picture candidate of the nominees, and its screenplay in particular has received a lot of citations in the precursors (even with the Original/Adapted category confusion). ‘Arrival’ might have been able to win if ‘Moonlight’ had stayed in the Original category, but ‘Moonlight’ seems to be inspiring more passionate support. ‘Hidden Figures’ has also been generating lots of enthusiasm, and it’s only been gaining in momentum over the past few weeks so it could threaten here, too. But the fact that it could only get three nominations suggests to me that its support might not run as deeply as the support for ‘Moonlight.'”

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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