Which of the Original Screenplay nominees has the best chance to win according to recent Oscar history?

Not all original screenplays are all that ‘original.’ While the writers may not have adapted them from existing works, many  ‘original screenplays’ are based on real events and real people rather than wholly made-up stories and characters. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at the Original Screenplay nominees of the last five Oscars and see what that means for this year’s hopeful nominees:

Winner: “Get Out” – Original
“The Big Sick” – Original
“Lady Bird” – Original
“The Shape of Water” – Original
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Original

Winner: “Manchester by the Sea” – Original
“Hell or High Water” – Original
“La La Land” – Original
“The Lobster” – Original
“20th Century Women” – Original

Winner: “Spotlight” – Real Events
“Bridge of Spies” – Real Events
“Ex Machina” – Original
“Inside Out” – Original
“Straight Outta Compton” – Real Events

Winner: “Birdman” – Original
“Boyhood” – Original
“Foxcatcher” – Real Events
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Original
“Nightcrawler” – Original

Winner: “Her” – Original
“American Hustle” – Real Events
“Blue Jasmine” – Original
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Real Events
“Nebraska” – Original

Of the 25 past Original Screenplay nominees, 19 of them have been wholly original scripts with made-up characters and plots; four of these won their respective races. Six of the nominated scripts were inspired by real events and people and one prevailed: “Spotlight” written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, which was based on the Boston Globe’s uncovering of the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese.

DISCUSS All the Oscar contenders with Hollywood insiders in our notorious forums

The academy clearly prefers their original scripts to be just that – entirely original rather than inspired by real events/people. But what does that mean in regards to this year’s hopefuls? Here are this year’s five Original Screenplay nominees and which category they fall under:

The Favourite” – Tony McNamara and Deborah Davis – Real Events
Roma” – Alfonso Cuaron – Original
Green Book” – Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly – Real Events
Vice” – Adam McKay – Real Events
First Reformed” – Paul Schrader – Original

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

Three out of the five nominees are scripts inspired by real events: “The Favourite,” written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, is a telling of the tale of Queen Anne and Lady Sarah. “Green Book” tells the story of Don Shirley and Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga, and was written by Vallelonga’s son Nick, Brian Hayes Currie, and director Peter FarrellyAnd “Vice,” written by director Adam McKay, is a wild riff on politico Dick Cheney.

Just as recent Oscar history does not bode well for any of these three, it is a boost for Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” which is entirely original although influenced by his upbringing and Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed.” So, it’s Cuaron and Schrader to beat, based on this nugget of Oscar voting patterns.

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 winners are announced on February 24.

More News from GoldDerby