The 95th Academy Awards Race: Best Adapted Screenplay

| March 6, 2023

The Nominees are . . .
• All Quiet on the Western Front by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell; based on the book by Erich Maria Remarque
• Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery by Rian Johnson; based on the character Benoit Blanc from the film Knives Out by Rian Johnson
• Living by Kazuo Ishiguro; based on the film Ikiru by Shinobu Hashimoto, Akira Kurosawa & Hideo Oguni
• Top Gun: Maverick by Screenplay: Ehren Kruger, Christopher McQuarrie & Eric Warren Singer; Story: Peter Craig & Justin Marks; based on the characters created by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr.
• Women Talking by Sarah Polley; based on the novel by Miriam Toews

Adapted Screenplay is an area that usually doesn’t favor major commercial successes.  That said, out go the two playful nominees Top Gun: Maverick and Glass Onion.  All Quiet will find success elsewhere, and Living doesn’t seem likely since its critical acclaim hasn’t yielded many pre-Oscar Awards.

That leaves the frontrunner, Sarah Polley who adapted Miriam Toews novel about a group of Mennonite women who discover they are being raped in their sleep by the men in their community after being drugged with horse tranquillizers.  The entire movie takes place in the barn as these women try to decide what to do about it.

Woman Talking is very timely right now.  Its a strong statement, not just about Mennonite women about all women and the rights to govern what is to be done with their bodies, and it is hard to imagine that the writer’s guild can ignore such a statement.  After all, the entire Academy responded to the film by giving it a Best Picture nomination.

Added to the film’s roaring statement, are the pre-Oscar awards including the all-important Writer’s Guild Award, given out by the same folks who vote for the Oscar.  Polley has been a world-class filmmaker for years, and this time she’s done her best work.

The Winner: Women Talking
The Dark Horse: None

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.