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Bill Condon (Chicago)

Best Adapted Screenplay

2003 nominations: Golden Globe, Golden Satellite Awards

Oscar pedigree: Won: “Gods and Monsters” (1998)

Condon on adapting “Chicago”: “It was appealing in every way, and the most fun I’ve ever had writing a script. Not only to write a movie musical, but also to work with Rob (Marshall), who has had an incredibly successful career in the theater. He’s worked with giants like Jerome Robbins and Harold Prince. You learn so much on every script, and this was a chance to learn from someone who had learned from the masters.”

What we said: “A stylish cast and some clever scripting solutions help ‘Chicago’ make the transition from stage to screen with considerable appeal intact.” — David Rooney (Dec. 10)

What the others said: “It’s the raw expenditure of energy and the canniness of the staging that should pull audiences in and keep them rooted. The fabulous bones of this oft-told tale have been picked over so often that there’s no flesh left on them. But Mr. Marshall and the screenwriter Bill Condon get a terrifically sweet concoction out of this fabled skeleton.” — Elvis Mitchell, New York Times

This could be the night: The last time a stage director made his film debut, the screenwriter also won an Oscar (Sam Mendes and Alan Ball of “American Beauty” in 1999).

Then comes the rub: Some may feel the singing and dancing are responsible for the film’s appeal.

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