The tome long resisted adaptation, but the stars came together (literally) to get Haythe’s version made. Portrait of the dissolution of a marriage amid the stifling conformity of 1950s suburban life wasn’t a slam-dunk for the screen. Haythe made it cinematic. Even with all the shouting, it’s often what the characters don’t find a way to say that makes the story moving.
WHY IT’LL WIN: It’s a very difficult adaptation, and with those stars, everyone will see it.
MAYBE NOT: Material is relentlessly downbeat. And how, exactly, does it speak to the present day?