If We Picked the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay 1960-Present

Good evening. And happy Oscar Eve. My name is Gigi, and I am a parti poodle. I am the owner of a novelist named Karen. Thursday, we did a blog entry about what we would have chosen as the Oscar winners for the category of Writing (Adapted Screenplay) from 1960 to present. Today we are going to post what we would have given the Oscar to for Writing (Original Screenplay) from 1960 to present. Therefore, without further ado, here is my novelist and my list of our picks including some commentary here and there. We have marked the films that won the Oscar with the word Winner.

Gigi and I would like to note that for our Adapted Screenplay list, we should have pointed out that for the 1963 Oscars even though our pick Hud is an excellent script the Adapted Screenplay that should have taken home the Oscar was The Manchurian Candidate. To our shock, it wasn’t even nominated in that category that year. Here is our list:

1960: The Apartment (Winner)

1961: Splendor in the Grass (Winner)

1962: Through a Glass Darkly

1963: How the West Was Won (Winner)

1964: A Hard Day’s Night

1965: The Train

1966: Blowup

1967: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (Winner)

We’d also like to point out another outstanding script in this category, Bonnie and Clyde.

1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey

1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Winner)

1970: Five Easy Pieces

1971: Klute

1972: The Candidate (Winner)

1973: American Graffiti

1974: The Conversation

1975: Dog Day Afternoon (Winner)

1976: Rocky

Believe it or not Taxi Driver was not nominated for original screenplay this year.

1977: The Goodbye Girl

1978: The Deer Hunter

The winner this year was Coming Home and honestly, it’s a tough call between these two. But I think that Russian Roulette scene is what clinches it.

1979: Breaking Away (Winner)

This is one of those films that grows on you over time.

1980: Private Benjamin

1981: Arthur

One of the rare romantic comedies that works brilliantly. And the dialogue is razor sharp.

1982: Tootsie

How did this not win for script? We still cannot figure it out.

1983: War Games

1984: The Terminator*

*How did the academy not even nominate this film. The treatment alone is worth an Oscar. I 1993think there are Oscar voters out there who have a Barbie doll that says, “Science is hard” and they play with it every time they fill out their ballots.

1985: Witness (Winner)

Boy, this was a tough year with Brazil and Back to the Future also nominated in this category both of which should have Oscars here.

1986: Platoon

1987: Moonstruck (Winner)

1988: Rain Man (Winner)

This was a strong category this year with Big, A Fish Called Wanda and Running on Empty all being nominated.

1989: Sex, Lies and Videotape

One of my all-time favorite films and in my opinion the one that really launched the independent film movement of the 1990’s. Another solid film Dead Poets Society won and When Harry Met Sally was also nominated.

1990: Ghost (Winner)

1991: Thelma and Louise (Winner)

Another of my all-time favorites. A couple other strong scripts here are Boyz in the Hood and The Fisher King.

1992: The Crying Game (Winner)

Another fantastic script nominated this year was Unforgiven.

1993: The Piano (Winner)

One of my all-time favorite scripts. If I remember correctly it took Jane Campion ten years to write it and it was worth every single minute.

1994: Pulp Fiction (Winner)

Wow, what a script. One of the scripts and one of the best years in film history. The other tremendous script nominated this year was Three Colors: Red.

1995: The Usual Suspects (Winner)

The most screwed up Oscars in recent memory. Believe it or not this film was not nominated for Best Picture. What a travesty. Leaving Las Vegas and Dead Man Walking weren’t nominated for Best Picture either. What a mess.

1996: Fargo (Winner)

Was there even a doubt? The other great nominated script this year was Lone Star.

1997: Good Will Hunting (Winner)

The other standout scripts in this category this year were The Full Monty and Boogie Nights.

1998: The Truman Show

Andrew Nicol who penned The Truman Show also wrote Gattaca. Again, with the “science is hard” Barbies. Not to mention Saving Private Ryan was also nominated in this category and didn’t win either.

1999: Being John Malkovich

This year is really a tie between this one and the winning script, American Beauty.

2000: Almost Famous (Winner)

2001: Memento

The winner this year, Gosford Park is shockingly bad. Memento won just about every writing award this year and it loses to one of the most boring films ever made. Not to mention one of the other contenders was The Royal Tenenbaums. I have never recovered from the shock. Not to mention the other great script that year Donnie Darko wasn’t even nominated.

2002: Far from Heaven

2002 was not a good year for original scripts.

2003: Lost in Translation (Winner)

Another fantastic script that was nominated this year is Dirty Pretty Things.

2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Winner)

Hotel Rwanda is another fantastic script nominated this year. And one that wasn’t nominated and should have been, The Machinist.

2005: Good Night, and Good Luck

This was another weak year for Original Screenplay.

2006: Babel

2007: Ratatouille

2008: WALL-E

Pixar’s greatest film. Two other strong nominations this year were Frozen River and In Bruges. None of them won in this category.

2009: The Hurt Locker (Winner)

2010: The King’s Speech (Winner)

Another smart script nominated this year was Inception.

2011: Bridesmaids

A Separation was also nominated this year and well worth the watch. Neither script won.

2012: Moonrise Kingdom

2013: Dallas Buyer’s Club

2014: Birdman (Winner)

Nightcrawler was another strong script nominated this year.

2015: Spotlight (Winner)

2016: Manchester by the Sea (Winner)

The other standout script here is Hell or High Water although its ending could have been sharper.

2017: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Easily my favorite Original Script of the 2010’s.

2018: First Reformed

2019: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

2020: Sound of Metal

2021: Belfast (Winner)

Licorice Pizza was another good script nominated this year.

2022: This year’s nominations: The Banshees of Inisherin

We also like Tar in this category as well.

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