The five films nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2017 Golden Globes are all beautifully written pieces. Makes my job harder. But I think we can whittle this down to at least a three horse race, if not a head-to-head matchup.
- Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
- La La Land – Damien Chazelle
- Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
- Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
- Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford
Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Manchester by the Sea
Dark Horse: Moonlight
Look at this way. The Critics’ Choice Awards named two Best Original Screenplay winners and one Best Adapted Screenplay winner. Best Adapted Screenplay went to Arrival, which is noticeably absent from the Golden Globe noms. Nocturnal Animals was also nominated in that category and lost. Transfer this over to a Golden Globe category that combines both adapted and original, and Animals is ostensibly out of the race. The HFPA is more likely to reward original film narratives than an adapted one, especially one that just lost a Critics’ Choice Award.
Look next at Best Original Screenplay, which rewarded both La La Land and Manchester by the Sea in a tie race. Given both films are top contenders and critics’ favorites, then either film could win here. I give the edge to La La Land, because it is all but guaranteed a Best Picture award. If Moonlight outlasts Manchester by the Sea at Best Picture – Drama, then anything could happen in this category.
The short story is that Moonlight is still in this race even though I named it a Dark Horse. It really isn’t one. Any one of these three movies could win the award.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)