Barbie to Compete for Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar Nod
Barbie has changed a respective category mid-campaign to swap its contention for a Best Screenplay Oscar from best original to best adapted script.
In an interesting twist of events, Oscar front-runner for Best Screenplay, Barbie, has gone from being in the running for a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination to being a candidate for Best Adapted Screenplay instead. This change-up wasn’t completely unexpected given the pedigree of Greta Gerwig’s hit film which originated as a Mattel toy doll character. Still, it makes the screenplay race a little more complicated to predict.
The Writers Branch executive committee of the Academy made the determination based upon the examination of the material on which Barbie is based. Oscar voters will be able to vote for the Gerwig movie’s story, which was scripted by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, starting on January 11th. Though the Writers Guild of America had deemed Gerwig’s unique movie an “original” screenplay, the Academy obviously had a difference in opinion.
Thanks to this category shift, Best Original Screenplay has a whole new dynamic in terms of what films could actually make the cut. The Holdovers, Past Lives and May December are among those vying for a coveted Best Original Screenplay nomination and with Barbie out of the running, it sort of levels the playing field a bit.
Barbie will face stiff competition in the Best Adapted Screenplay category from the likes of Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Things and Oppenheimer. Though those prestige pictures were all very good to excellent in quality, none of them (except Killers of the Flower Moon) had a scene as ingenious as the one in Barbie where Ryan Gosling belts out the tune, “I’m Just Ken.” However, it’s anyone’s guess at this point if Gerwig’s film has what it takes to bring home the gold at the end of the day. Oppenheimer was more about great direction than script writing but the other two aforementioned films where wholly original much like Barbie in terms of their on-screen execution.
Some people see Barbie‘s exclusion from being a contender in the Best Original Screenplay category as a major door opening for Celine Song’s great art house film, Past Lives, which could ultimately bring home the gold as Best Original Screenplay. Barbie would have probably nabbed a victory in the “original” category had it been a contender there. Barbie will just have to put up more of a fight in the Best Adapted Screenplay category as a result of the change and could still emerge victorious. Oscar voters will be casting their ballots soon so the nominations can officially be announced.
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