The USC Scripter awards are tonight and you can watch the live stream here at the Awards Circuit. At the Oscars, the category that will most likely reveal early on what will win Best Picture is Adapted Screenplay, where Tony Kushner (Lincoln), Chris Terrio (Argo), and David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) will all go head to head. Along with the awards that the Writers Guild of America will present (on February 17th), the Scripter might be one of the last hopes any film not named Argo has at winning the big prize at Oscar. In other words, if Argo takes both Scripter and WGA, it would be the proverbial nail in the coffin. What I really like about the Scripter is that it honors both the original work and the adaptation.
From all sources I’ve been reading this season, it seems that Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals (from which Lincoln is adapted), is the cream of the crop, which would make Argo winning this award all the more obvious that Affleck’s film is a shoe-in to win at Oscar. Hell, even Life of Pi is adapted from a beloved novel (of the same name).
The six nominees for the USC Scripter are Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Perks of Being a Wallflower, with Perks being the only one absent from the Adapted Screenplay Oscar field, and all but Perks and Beasts receiving WGA noms as well. Four out of the last five years, the winner of the USC Scripter followed up by winning the WGA and the Adapted Screenplay Oscar. The one exception was Up in the Air, which famously lost the Oscar to Precious after having won the Scripter and WGA.
If I had to make a prediction, I’d go with Lincoln/Team of Rivals for the win, but with Argo taking every single award in its path, anything is possible. The 25th Annual USC Scripter Awards will take place tonight (February 9th) at 7:30. Come back then and watch the live stream here.