The films in contention for the 2022 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar are “CODA,” “Drive My Car,” “Dune,” “The Lost Daughter,” and “The Power of the Dog.” Our odds currently indicate that “The Power of the Dog” (17/5) will win the award, followed in order of likelihood by “CODA” (39/10), “The Lost Daughter” (4/1), “Drive My Car” (9/2), and “Dune” (9/2).
Seven of the eight individuals included in this year’s lineup are category newcomers, with Eric Roth (“Dune”) standing alone as the only veteran. He succeeded on his first outing as the writer of “Forrest Gump” (1995) and has since picked up bids for “The Insider” (2000), “Munich” (2006), “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2009), and “A Star Is Born” (2019). He shares this bid with first-time writing nominees Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve.
Roth’s half dozen nominations make him one of the three most-recognized adaptive writers alongside John Huston and only one step behind Billy Wilder. He may also become the 11th person to triumph here twice, with the most recent having been Christopher Hampton (“Dangerous Liaisons,” 1989 and “The Father,” 2021).
Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) is the only other past winner in this group, having achieved a Best Original Screenplay victory for “The Piano” in 1994. She now has a chance at becoming the only woman ever honored by the academy for both adaptive and original writing. Her nomination, along with those of first-timers Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Daughter”) and Sian Heder (“CODA”) make this the only lineup in the category’s history to include three films written solely by women.
Campion and “Drive My Car” writer Ryusuke Hamaguchi are also up for the Best Director prize. This makes them the first pair to concurrently face each other in both of these categories since David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) did so in 2013. As one of her film’s producers, Campion is also nominated for Best Picture, as is Villeneuve. The last double showdown of this kind occurred in 2020 and involved Todd Phillips (“Joker”) and Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”).
“CODA,” an American remake of the 2014 French film “The Bélier Family,” would be the third film derived from an existing piece of audiovisual media to win this award. The first two were “Sling Blade” (1997), which was adapted from the 1994 short “Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade,” and “The Departed” (2007), a remake of the 2002 Chinese feature “Infernal Affairs.”
After “All About Eve” (1951) and “Brokeback Mountain” (2006), “Drive My Car” would be the third film based on a short story to triumph here. Its Japanese script, co-written by newcomer Takamasa Oe, is the first one with no English dialogue to be recognized here since 2008 (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) and would be the first such film to ever take the gold.
The films that won in this category most recently are “The Father” (2021), “Jojo Rabbit” (2020), “BlacKkKlansman” (2019), and “Call Me by Your Name” (2018). This year’s winner will be revealed during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, airing March 27 on ABC.
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