‘Marriage Story’s’ Noah Baumbach could win the same Spirit Award that Greta Gerwig did for ‘Lady Bird’

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like either Noah Baumbach or Greta Gerwig will take home a screenplay Oscar on Sunday. Baumbach is in third place in our Best Original Screenplay predictions for “Marriage Story,” while Gerwig’s “Little Women” was just dethroned by Taika Waititi‘s “Jojo Rabbit” in Best Adapted Screenplay following the latter’s Writers Guild of America Award and BAFTA triumphs. But the couple could still be part of a different winners’ circle.

The writer-director is predicted to win Best Screenplay for “Marriage Story” at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards — aka the same award that his longtime partner Gerwig won two years ago for “Lady Bird” (2017). He leads with 82/25 odds, backed by 12 Experts and 10 of our Editors.

Baumbach is the only Oscar nominee of the group, which ought to give him an edge. The last time a non-Oscar nominee won was 10 years ago, when “(500) Days of Summer” (2009) prevailed in a field that featured one Oscar nominee, “The Messenger.” When Gerwig won, she beat two of her Best Original Screenplay Oscar rivals, eventual champ “Get Out” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

SEE Our readers want double nominee Scarlett Johansson to live happily ever after with an Oscar for ‘Marriage Story’

Baumbach’s toughest competition is arguably “Uncut Gems,” which co-leads the awards, alongside “The Lighthouse” with five nominations, and has been a box-office hit and fan favorite. The film, written by Josh & Benny Safdie and Ronald Bronstein, is in second place in our odds. Chinonye Chukwu‘s “Clemency” is in third, followed by “High Flying Bird,” written by former champ Tarell Alvin McCraney, and “To Dust” (Jason Begue & Shawn Snyder).

It could be a pretty great night overall for Baumbach, who was previously nominated for penning “The Squid and the Whale” (2005). He’s already guaranteed one trophy, as “Marriage Story” is receiving the Robert Altman Award, which goes to the director, cast and casting director. And while he was snubbed in Best Director, “Marriage Story” is the odds-on favorite to nab Best Picture.

PREDICT the Independent Spirit Awards now; change them until February 8

Be sure to make your Indie Spirit predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 8. And join in the fierce debate over the 2020 Spirit Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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