Best Original Screenplay
The Hurt Locker
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman
A Serious Man
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Pete Docter et al.
One of the toughest races to call. Quentin Tarantino’s elaborate Inglourious Basterds has a strong shot, but Mark Boal’s point-blank script for The Hurt Locker will probably benefit from the film’s overall support. Up and A Serious Man represent Pixar and the Coen brothers’ hot streaks in this race, while The Messenger‘s feat is being the only non — Best Picture nominee to manage a nod here.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Up in the Air
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
In the Loop
Jesse Armstrong et al.
The surprise in this category is the inclusion of foulmouthed British indie In the Loop, which many voters still may not have seen. District 9, Precious, and An Education all have their fan bases (as evidenced by their films’ Best Picture nominations), but this race is likely Up in the Air‘s only real chance at a victory, so we’re going with Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner’s script in a walk.