Though not as much fun as the Original Screenplay category, Best Adapted Screenplay is always packed, and the competition is usually much stronger than the Original Screenplay category. For predictions, it is usually considerably harder narrowing it down to only 5 nominees, but here is what I've got so far:
1. The Descendants
By Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, & Jim Rash
Though the Payne/Taylor writing duo that brought us every previous Payne-directed motion picture is not writing this drama-comedy, The Descendants is still almost guaranteed a nomination in this category. Unlike many directors, Alexander Payne's character based dramedies are always heavily reliant on great writing, and from everything I've heard, The Descendants is no different.
- 95% chance
By Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zaillian
A match made in screenwriting heaven, Oscar winners Sorkin and Zaillian team up for one of the best baseball movies I've ever seen. Distinct elements from both screenwriters can be found in the script for Moneyball, which blends behind-the-scenes knowledge, sharp dialogue, and emotional sincerity with great results. Consider this a passion pick on my part, but Moneyball is everything I would expect to see receive a screenplay nomination.
- 85% chance
3. Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close
By Eric Roth
As strange as it sounds, I think this movie's name will have a negative influence on the amount of nominations it will receive, but in the hands of the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Forrest Gump, a nomination in this department just might be expected. This, and the fact that it's directed by notorious Oscar fisherman Stephen Daldry, so regardless of how good it actually is, it's bound to get some kind of recognition.
- 75% chance
4. The Help
By Tate Taylor
Whether or not it deserves it, The Help has received a great deal of awards credit since its release. With a (I'm gonna say it again) politically correct central statement, feel-good vibe, it could very well receive every nomination that has been foretold. The biggest risk with this movie is whether or not the Academy will consider it powerful enough to gain this much attention.
- 70% chance
5. The Ides Of March
By George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
This one is still very much up in the air, but I think that with George Clooney backing it, it could very well stand a chance of receiving some major award nominations. Though it hasn't gained the critical backing that I had originally anticipated, I think feel The Ides Of March will be a serious contender, as the writing seems to be one of the most acclaimed elements of the movie.
- 60% chance
Other potential nominees:
6. War Horse
By Richard Curtis & Lee Hall
Let me start by saying that this movie doesn't interest me. Regardless, Spielberg's adaptation of the Tony award-winning play has a good chance of impressing critics -- and Oscar voters. But until it has been screened, there's no way of knowing.
- 45% chance
7. A Dangerous Method
By Christopher Hampton
Though it's written by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Dangerous Liasons and Atonement, Cronenberg's latest picture will be heavily reliant on its performances for it to earn any nominations in this category.
- 40% chance
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
By Tomas Alfredson
Based on the classic spy novel, the only real detriment it might have in receiving a nomination here is its familiar subject material, which I (somehow) feel might not bode well with Oscar voters.
- 35% chance
By Roman Polanski & Yasmina Reza
Realistically, I don't think Carnage stands much of a chance in this category, but this kind of dialogue-heavy drama is always appealing to me, so I could see it potentially earning a nomination here, even if it's just my delusion telling me that much.