Oscar Watch: Adapted screenplay contenders

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Simon Beaufoy
Simon Beaufoy
"Slumdog Millionaire"
Pros: (A) The Academy owes him for spurning "The Full Monty." (B) Oscar loves the Brits. (C) Is there a better year to be multicultural? (D) Oh for God's sake, just give it to him.
Cons: (A) Danny Boyle is the one who really made it come alive. (B) It's light. (C) The movie will win for best picture and director so it doesn't need any other awards. (D) None of the above: It is written.
 
Eric Roth
Story by Roth and Robin Swicord
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Pros: Roth's adaptation is this year's screenwriting equivalent of Tyson-Holyfield. The respected heavyweight took on a dangerous opponent in "Button," an obscure F. Scott Fitzgerald story that thwarted scribes for years, and he might walk away with the belt for his effort.
Cons: "Forrest Gump" won already, didn't it?

Eric Roth
 

Peter Morgan
Peter Morgan
"Frost/Nixon"
Pros: Morgan won a Golden Globe two years ago for "The Queen," nearly snagged the Oscar that year, and is as sought-after by Hollywood as Tricky Dick was by David Frost.
Cons: Morgan might find himself victim of the Nixon syndrome: "No matter how high we get, they still look down on us."
 
John Patrick Shanley
"Doubt"
Pros: The Academy loves class -- and when you've already won the Pulitzer Prize, it's only fitting you should get the Oscar, too.
Cons: Oscar hasn't gone to a stage adaptation since "Sling Blade." And audiences have too many doubts about "Doubt" to opt for it this time.

John Patrick Shanley
 

David Hare
David Hare
"The Reader"
Pros: The Holocaust subject matter helps. Didn't Ronald Harwood scoop up a statuette for that in 2003?
Cons: "Reader" ain't no "Pianist."
 
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