Chris Hanna and Radina Papukchieva make their picks for the best screenplays of the year, and who they think will take home Oscar gold on Feb. 26.

The nominees for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, are:

The ArtistMichel Hazanavicius
BridesmaidsKristen WiigAnnie Mumolo
Margin CallJ.C. Chandor
Midnight in ParisWoody Allen
A SeparationAsghar Farhadi

“Call me biased if you will, but every time Woody Allen is nominated in this category, he deserves it. His last nomination for Original Screenplay was in 2006 for the sexy Match Point and he is no stranger to the Oscars, with a total of 15 nominations in this category alone. The last time he won was in 1987 for Hannah and Her Sisters. Woody doesn’t believe in awards and most likely doesn’t give a damn if he wins or not, but this year’s Midnight in Paris cemented his status as the most original screenwriter in America.  He hasn’t always succeeded, but his stories have always sprung out of him, and not a bestselling novel. Midnight was witty, nostalgic, romantic and arguably, also the best film of the year. I think the Oscar for Original Screenplay is pretty much guaranteed, and I just hope to see Woody accept it (he hasn’t been to the show since 2002)”Radina Papukchieva

“Hot off a Writer’s Guild Award win for Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen (who wasn’t there to accept his WGA on Sunday and as Radina pointed out, hasn’t been to the Oscars in a decade) has been transporting audiences to the settings he’s created in his films since the ‘60s. With MiP, though, he was able to make 1920s Paris as believable and accessible to me… in 2012 Montreal. It’s a gorgeous story and a fantasy of a film – the kind some lunatic dreams up that you never think could actually be executed. While Allen is my pick to take home the Oscar on Feb. 26, let’s hear it for the girls. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s screenplay for Bridesmaids is also nominated, and if it was any other year, they may have had a great chance at winning the category (come on, a COMEDY written by two WOMEN?! We need to check the history books to see if that’s ever happened.) Also interesting is the nomination for best foreign film nominee A Separation in the screenplay category.”Chris Hanna

The nominees for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, are:

“The Adapted Screenplay Oscar has to go to Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants. The movie didn’t feel for a second like it was following some kind of formula, and I actually thought it was an original screenplay at first. The story was absurd, yet believable, with tongue-in-cheek humor and sharp dialogue.  From the nominated scripts, this one worked best when brought to the screen, perhaps aided by the movie’s great cast.”Radina Papukchieva

“This just might be the most competitive category at the Oscars this Sunday. Any film can pick up the award and it will be well-deserved. While Hugo and The Ides of March were two of my favourite movies of 2011, The Descendants is the film with the buzz behind it to win, and my choice for Oscar gold on Feb. 26. Witty and heartfelt, like Alexander Payne does very well, the dialogue and performances never feel forced. Aaron Sorkin and co., though, can give Payne and co. a run for their money with the screenplay for Moneyball. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy seems like the longshot here, but let’s hear it (again) for Bridget O’Connor, the only woman nominated in the category this year.” – Chris Hanna 

Come back tomorrow when we look at even more nominees, including best makeup and costume design.

About The Cafe Phenomenon

"The Cafe Phenomenon" refers to a situation, specifically in a cafe, where you are sitting with a friend and engaging in conversation with them, but you suddenly find yourself unable to listen because the background noise of the cafe distracts you from what they are saying (the background noise could be any thing: the gossip at the next table for example). It happens that, from time to time, in certain contexts the background noise is stronger and more defined than our personal and private one on one conversations. Our blog, made up of a group of friends from Concordia's journalism program, can serve as the background noise penetrating the intimate discussions of our virtual cafe dwellers (hopefully adding insight, relevant coverage, and interesting ideas). Or it can be the friend with whom you are deep in conversation. This, our dear readers, we leave to you.

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