Best Adapted Screenplay

2003 noms: BAFTA, Chicago Film Critics, Writers Guild

Oscar pedigree: None

Chris Weitz’s overview of the story: “We actually always saw it that the subtext of the movie was a romantic comedy between him and the boy, not in any sort of perverted way, but in the sense that, in a romantic comedy, you have the audience rooting for these two ill-matched characters to get together. The film follows that kind of rhythm, in that boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy gets boy.”

What we said: “Though Paul and Chris Weitz (‘American Pie’) may seem a strange choice to direct and co-write such quintessentially British fare, the two brothers in fact do a culturally neutral job in both adapting and directing.” — Derek Elley (March 27)

What the others said: “This plot outline, as it stands, could supply the materials for a film of complacent stupidity — a formula sitcom with one of the Culkin offspring blinking cutely. It is much more than that; it’s one of the year’s most entertaining films, not only because (Hugh) Grant is so good but because young Nicholas Hoult has a kind of appeal that cannot be faked.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

This could be the night: In 1996, another team of brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, won Oscars for “Fargo.”

Then comes the rub: A script with three nominated writers hasn’t won in the adapted category since 1957, when Pierre Boulle, Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman took home the hardware for “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

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