2013 Best Screenplay Contenders: From ‘Anna Karenina’ to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Continuing our survey of this season’s major-category contenders, we arrive at the screenplay races — and in a super-sized gallery, we’ve combined both the original and adapted categories, with hopefuls ranging from summer blockbusters to upcoming prestige items to scrappy foreign and/or indie fighters.

The writers’ branch is often said to be the most discerning branch of voters in the Academy, and frequently choose to go their own way. They’re the ones who ignored “Titanic” when all the other voters lost their hearts to it; on the flip side, they’ve been to only branch to stand up for such outsiders as “Another Year,” “Before Sunset” and “Y tu Mama Tambien.” They can generally be counted on for a surprise or two come nomination morning.

This year, as if so often the case, it’s the adapted category that’s more stacked with heavyweight Best Picture contenders — “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Les Mis,” “Silver Linings Playbook” — but that only makes the original race more interesting: with multiple left-field critics’ causes and fringe favorites jostling for position, it’s impossible to call right now. 

For an in-depth overview of both fields, click on the gallery story below composed and constructed by Kris, Greg and me — and be sure to share your own thoughts in the comments.