Many see the USC Scripter Award as a strong indicator of who will win the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Those pundits might want to do a little research. The two honors have only lined up six times in 23 years meaning the odds of winning both ain’t that good. However, two of the last three Scripters did win Oscar, “No Country for Old Men” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Unfortunately, last year’s winner, “Up in the Air,” did not.
The award is given to both the screenwriter and the novelist or writer of the original work its based on. Tonight it was announced that Aaron Sorkin and Ben Mezrich won this year’s Scripter for “The Social Network” and Mezrich’s novel “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.” The duo beat out a competitive field including “127 Hours,” “The Ghost Writer,” “True Grit” and “Winter’s Bone.”
The 58-member selection committee includes many Academy members including Ed Harris, Tom Rothman, Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, Steven Zaillian and Nicholas Kazan among others.
Sorkin is also expected to win the WGA Award in this category and has already picked up numerous critic’s honors along the way including a Golden Globe. Of course, the same scenario occurred to “Up in the Air’s” Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner last awards season and they went home empty handed on Oscar night. Will history repeat itself? We’ll see…
In other Oscar news…
– Former Oscar winner and three-time nominee Marisa Tomei has been coerced, er, volunteered to host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards next Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills (i.e., the “Pretty Woman” hotel for those who don’t live in Los Angeles). Tomei, who will be seen next in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “The Ides of March,” will present 11 previously announced awards to 23 recipients during the scintillating evening. Give one up to Tomei for taking one for the team everybody.
– No, you weren’t hallucinating. Those were strange “Consider: Melissa Leo” ads that popped up on some industry websites earlier this week And no, they weren’t sponsored by either “The Fighter’s” studios, Paramount Pictures or Relativity Media. Pete Hammond delicately brought up the ads to the best supporting actress nominee which she paid for herself. Leo, who has been considered the frontrunner for the Oscar for some time for her work in “The Fighter,” has also recently been seen as ripe for upset and honestly this won’t help matters. The ads are over, but Leo has always seemed a bit “off” and it’s one thing not to campaign as her co-star Christian Bale is successfully doing, but it’s another thing to appear greedy or to want it too much. Like politics, Oscar is a big campaign. We’ll see if the ads or the scuttlebutt about them come back to bite her on Feb. 27.