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We are about a month away from the 96th Academy Awards, which will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 10. Many categories seem to have fallen into place as to who will win, especially most of the above-the-line races — specifically Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress.
As our Gold Derby odds currently stand, Original Screenplay is still a red-hot race between “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Holdovers.” However, I believe this category is a safer bet than a lot of Gold Derby fans realizes. Here are five reasons why “Anatomy of a Fall” screenwriters Justine Triet and Arthur Harari will win Best Original Screenplay at the 2024 Oscars.
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1. It received nominations in every important category.
On Oscar nominations morning, “Anatomy of a Fall” got into every key category necessary to indicate it has broad support across the academy. Picture, Director (Triet), Lead Actress (Sandra Hüller), Film Editing, and Original Screenplay. It also would’ve easily made it into Best International Film (and almost certainly win it) had France submitted it instead of “The Taste of Things,” which ended up not making the final lineup. This shows the film is definitely popular with the academy and that they’ll very likely want to award it somewhere. While most of the other categories may be an uphill battle to win, given the whole body votes for the winner, Original Screenplay feels like the most logical place to give “Anatomy of a Fall” a win.
2. The academy loves a suspenseful script.
If there’s one thing a lot of winners in Original Screenplay have in common, it’s that many of the films keep you on the edge of your seat. Think about “The Crying Game,” “Get Out,” “Parasite” and “Promising Young Woman” as a few examples. That’s mainly because of the strength of their respective screenplays. “Anatomy of a Fall” fits this mold the most compared to the category’s other nominees, including “The Holdovers.” The film depicts a woman on trial for the suspicious death of her husband, and throughout the course of the film there are revelations that keep you in suspense about whether she’s innocent or guilty of murdering him. The perfect execution of suspense throughout the course of the film is why it’s in a great position to continue this common thread of Original Screenplay winners.
3. The voting bloc of the academy has become increasingly international.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the academy welcome in a lot of new international members, and that’s been reflected in the nominations and some winners. Just a few examples, “Parasite” winning Best Picture as well as three other major awards (including this category) in 2020, “Drive My Car” snagging three above the line nominations in 2022, and “All Quiet On the Western Front” winning four of its nine Oscar nominations last year. This year we have three primarily non-English language films in the Best Picture lineup, and as the odds currently stand, “The Zone of Interest” will handily win the International Film category. And given “Anatomy of a Fall” wasn’t nominated in that category due to France not submitting it, expect this current voting body to also vote for this film to win a big category like Original Screenplay.
4. The last 12 winners in this category directed the film.
Ever since Woody Allen won this category for “Midnight in Paris” 12 years ago, the recipients in this category have all been people who directed the film as well. Original Screenplay has often been seen as a place to reward filmmakers who likely aren’t going to win Best Director as a way to still award them for a film they enjoyed. Since Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”) is seen as a lock to win Director, “Anatomy of a Fall’s” co-writer and director Justine Triet can very well receive a consolation prize here and continue the trend by winning this category.
5. It’s already won the Golden Globe and will likely win BAFTA too.
“Anatomy of a Fall” winning Screenplay at the Golden Globes was one of the biggest surprises of the night. It was in last place in the combined Gold Derby odds. Yet, it prevailed at the Globes where original and adapted screenplays are combined. “Barbie” won this category at Critics Choice where “Anatomy of a Fall” wasn’t nominated, but that will be competing in Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. As the odds stand, “Anatomy of a Fall” is currently the heavy favorite to win Original Screenplay at the BAFTAs. And given the Writers Guild Awards will be presented after the Oscars (where it was delayed because of the WGA strike and this film isn’t eligible), winning the BAFTA will give it the increased momentum needed to put it in prime position to prevail in this year’s Oscars.
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