Oscar Circuit: Best Original Screenplay

Screenplay Hustle

Nominee: David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer for American Hustle
Oscar Scene: Yeah, well maybe you’re gross inside! What, robbing people and all that shit that you do? Maybe we’re both gross inside, and that’s what Irving loves about us. At least he’s consistent. You know, sometimes in life, all you have are fucked up, poisonous choices.”

For a long time American Hustle was seen as the prohibitive favorite. After all, who wouldn’t bet on the script of a film with ten Oscar nominations written by a five-time nominee who is clearly on a hot streak with the Academy? That it also boasts the kind of elaborate structure, eccentric characters and comic tone that voters often go for would make it a lock, right? But then the Golden Globes weighed in…and then WGA…and while BAFTA saw fit to reward them, American Hustle’s chances here have diminished significantly since its initial award from the New York Film Critics Circle. It’s possible that this category is just one of many casualties resulting from a general deflation of enthusiasm surrounding the entire film. While a certain uniquely strange and sweet sci-fi movie has been gaining serious ground over the past few months, I’m sticking with the bet that Oscar voters simply love American Hustle more than I and many others do and will find this an acceptable consolation prize for Russell’s bridesmaid contender.