Aaron Sorkin already has a number of awards to his name, many of them Primetime Emmys for his television work, but he could add another statuette to his collection with an Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” The movie, which debuted on Netflix in October and tells the story of the real-life Chicago 7, who were anti-Vietnam War protesters charged with a number of crimes, including intention to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, is currently leading Gold Derby’s combined odds at 18/5. And frankly, it’s not even a close competition at this point.
Although the much-hyped “Mank” was close behind the Sorkin-directed film for a while, it started a downward trend soon after its release on Netflix in early December. Written by the late Jack Fincher, “Mank” actually continues to dive in the odds, and this week fell below Lee Isaac Chung‘s “Minari,” which is now in second place with 5/1 odds and three Experts predicting it to triumph, compared to 19 predicting “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
Rounding out the rest of the top five are the Emerald Fennell-penned “Promising Young Woman” (6/1 odds), which has been rising quickly since mid-December, and the animated Pixar film “Soul” (13/2 odds), written by Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers (Powers is also contending in adapted for “One Night in Miami”).
If Sorkin wins the Academy Award come April 25, he would become just the 14th person in history to take home both the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, as he won the latter for writing 2010’s “The Social Network.” Those who’ve completed the impressive feat include Robert Benton, Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Horton Foote, Bo Goldman, William Goldman, Ring Lardner Jr., Alan Jay Lerner, Waldo Salt, Billy Wilder, and Joel and Ethan Coen, the final two winning together for their films “Fargo” (1996) and “No Country for Old Men” (2007).
In a fun bit of trivia that will surely impress someone at your local watering hole once the pandemic is over, Sorkin actually mentioned Chayefsky, who collected statuettes for “Marty” (1955), “The Hospital” (1971) and “Network” (1976), in his acceptance speech when he won the Oscar for writing “The Social Network.” He said that it was “impossible to to describe what it feels like to be handed the same award that was given to Paddy Chayefsky 35 years ago for another movie with ‘network’ in the title.”
Wonder what he might say this year if he wins and joins an even more exclusive club.
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