Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

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2021 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

UPDATED: Apr. 21, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Despite winning the Golden Globe for best screenplay, Aaron Sorkin hasn’t been able to win elsewhere. With BAFTA, Critics Choice and WGA in hand, Emerald Fennell is poised to become the second solo female winner of this category after Diablo Cody for “Juno” (2007).

Will win: “Promising Young Woman” – Emerald Fennell
Could win: “The Trial of the Chicago 7” – Aaron Sorkin
Should win: “Minari” – Lee Isaac Chung
Should have been here: “The Forty-Year-Old Version” – Radha Blank

PRECURSORS LEADER:
Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) – Emerald Fennell
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar


AND THE NOMINEES ARE:

  1. "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)
    Emerald Fennell
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    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "You didn’t mean what’s a promising young woman like me doing working at a shitty coffee shop?" - Carey Mulligan (Cassie)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Emerald Fennell
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
    STARRING: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Molly Shannon, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Greenfield, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Connie Britton, Chris Lowell, Adam Brody, Sam Richardson


  2. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix)
    Aaron Sorkin
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    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "If we don’t win elections it doesn’t matter what’s second and it’s astonishing that someone still has to explain that to you." - Eddie Redmayne (Tom Hayden)

    OSCAR HISTORY:
    (2017) - "Molly's Game" - best adapted screenplay
    (2011) - "Moneyball" - best adapted screenplay
    (2010) - "The Social Network" - best adapted screenplay - WINNER


    DIRECTOR: Aaron Sorkin
    SYNOPSIS: The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
    STARRING: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, Jeremy Strong


  3. "Minari" (A24)
    Lee Isaac Chung
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    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "God bless you. I work crop farms all over. Don’t be scared of these tattoos, I’m a good worker." - Will Patton (Paul)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated 

    DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
    SYNOPSIS: A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.
    STARRING: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-jung Youn, Will Patton


  4. "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios)
    Abraham Marder, Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
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    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "You hurt yourself and you hurt me. I'll hurt myself too Rubi. I'll hurt myself too! Go right back there. Right now. Promise. Say it.." - Olivia Cooke (Lou)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated 

    DIRECTOR: Darius Marder
    SYNOPSIS: A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
    STARRING: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Mathieu Almaric, Lauren Ridloff


  5. "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros)
    Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas, Kenneth Lucas
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    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "There’s strength in numbers -- power anywhere there’s people. And in order to overthrow this racist, fascist, nefarious U.S. Government, it’s gonna take everybody." - Daniel Kaluuya (Fred Hampton)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated 

    DIRECTOR: Shaka King
    SYNOPSIS: The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O'Neal.
    STARRING: Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons, Martin Sheen, Dominique Thorne, Algee Smith, Lil Rel Howery, Jermaine Fowler


† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in the lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Original Screenplay)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. Woody Allen has the most wins in original screenplay with three and nominations at 16. Charles Brackett, Paddy Chayefsky, Quentin Tarantino and Billy Wilder have all won twice. Federico Fellini is the second most nominated writer with six nominations.


Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)


About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

About the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes Awards, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is held annually with 93 members since 1944. The group recognizes excellence in film and television across drama and comedy or musical categories. Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” holds the record for the most awards won by a single film with seven. Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Alan Parker’s “Midnight Express” are next in line with six each. Robert Altman’s “Nashville” has the record for most nominations received by a film with 11 while Colin Higgins’ “Foul Play,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III” and Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” share the record for receiving the most nominations and not winning a single award at seven.

  • The Golden Globes are scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021.

About the SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

  • The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021