Are we underestimating ‘Green Book’ for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars?

Are we underestimating “Green Book” for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars? It already surprised us by winning for its script at the Golden Globes, and in the 2010s so far the Globe winner for Best Film Screenplay has gone on to repeat in one of the Oscars’ two writing categories five times. But in the last three years the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Oscars have parted ways when it comes to writing. So how does that bode for this film’s chances moving forward?

“Green Book” tells the true story of Italian-American bouncer Frank Vallelonga, also known as “Tony Lip” (Viggo Mortensen), who searches for new employment after his nightclub closes for renovations. He eventually lands an interview to drive for famed African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), and the two travel together through the South, with Vallelonga serving not only as Shirley’s driver for his concert tour, but also his bodyguard.

In 2010 Aaron Sorkin won the Globe for writing “The Social Network” before going on to win Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. Then the Globe winner predicted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the next four years: Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris” (2011), Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained” (2012), Spike Jonze for “Her” (2013) and the writing team of Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo for “Birdman” (2014).

Aaron Sorkin won the Globe for Best Film Screenplay again in 2015 for “Steve Jobs,” but he failed to receive an Oscar nomination. Then in 2016 Damien Chazelle won the award for “La La Land,” but went on to lose the Best Original Screenplay race at the Oscars to Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester By the Sea.” And last year Martin McDonagh took the Globe for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” but went on to lose the Best Original Screenplay Oscar to Jordan Peele for “Get Out.”

At this year’s Golden Globes “Green Book” managed to win three awards overall, the most of any film. Not only did it win Best Screenplay for Tony Lip’s son Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, and director Peter Farrelly, it also took Best Film Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Best Film Comedy/Musical. And shortly after the Globes the movie received Writers Guild and BAFTA Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay.

But according to the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users, “Green Book” is currently ranked in third place with 9/2 odds at the Oscars. Ahead of it in second place is “Roma” with 4/1 odds, while “The Favourite” currently leads with 7/2 odds. Does “Green Book” actually have a better chance than we’re all giving it credit for, or will the Globes and Oscars diverge yet again?

Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.

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