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Dec 10 2017

44 days til Oscar nominations.Screenplay stats!

by Nathaniel R

With only 44 days until Oscar nominations and lots of confusion as to what might be nominated for screenplay (there areseemingly 7 locks for Original and only 1 contender for Adapted-- the math doesn't work.Haha!) let's use today's numerical trivia prompt for writing awards.Fact: Oscar's 4 favorite screenwriters have 44 nominations between them for writing.That's a lot of hogging of writing honors.They are...

(Numbers below are for screenwriting categories only)
01Woody Allen(16 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Acting and Directing races.Classics includeAnnie Hall,Hannah and Her Sisters,Manhattanand more...
02Billy Wilder(12 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Directing and Producing races.Classics includeSunset Blvd,The Apartment,Some Like it Hot,and more...
03John Huston(8 nominations and 1 win)
He's also been in the Acting,Directing,and Producing races.Classics includeThe African Queen,The Asphalt Jungle,Prizzi's Honorand more...
04Federico Fellini(8 nominations but he never won for writing)
He's also been in the Directing,and Producing races and of course his films have taken multiple Foreign Language Film Oscars.亚博主页He's the Academy's favorite Italian...yes,even more than Sophia Loren.Classics includeLa Dolce Vita,I Vitelloni,8½and more...

It's perhaps no surprise that all of these writers are also directors and thus were in charge of bringing their own words to visual life.With greater control comes greater consistency in results.Without checking before you hit the jump can you guess which working writers are next in line to join this group?

05Charles Brackett(7 nominations and 3 wins)
He often wrote with Billy Wilder
06 [TIE]Joel Coen& Ethan CoenandBen Hecht(6 nominations and 2 wins)
You know the Coen brothers.Hecht's classics includeWuthering HeightsandNotorious
08 [TIE]Oliver StoneandCarl Foreman(6 nominations and 1 win)
You know Oliver Stone.Foreman's classics includeGuns of NavaroneandHigh Noon
10Francis Ford Coppola(5 nominations and 3 wins)
All of his writing Oscars come from films that also won Best Picture:亚博主页Patton,and the first twoGodfatherfilms

11 [TIE]Joseph MankiewiczandRobert BentonandMichael Wilson(5 nominations and 2 wins)
Mankiewicz and Benton were both also famous directors.Wilson was a blacklisted screenwriter so some of his Oscar nominations were retroactively reinstalled since he initially received no screen credit for the last three of his five nominations,all of them major Oscar players:Friendly Persuasion,Lawrence of Arabia,andThe Bridge on the River Kwai
14Richard Brooks(5 nominations and 1 win)
All of his nominations came from adaptations of famous plays or novels fromThe Asphalt JunglethroughIn Cold Blood
15 [TIE]Ingmar BergmanandMike Leigh(5 nominations but they never won for writing)
Mike Leigh will soon be 75 years old.Maybe it's time to start thinking about an Honorary Oscar for this singular filmmaker?
17Paddy Chayefsky(4 nominations and 3 wins)
Classics includeMarty,Network,andThe Goddess
18George Seaton(4 nominations and 2 wins)
He won forMiracle on 34th StreetandThe Country Girl
19 [TIE]Stanley Shapiro,Eric Roth,James Poe,andJulius J Epstein(4 nominations and 1 win)

From there the ties become far too multitudiness to manage.The still-living people who are next in line to enter this top 20 areWarren Beatty,Andrew Stanton,Pete Docter,andPaul Thomas Andersonwho each have 4 nominations for writing but no wins in those categories.Paul Thomas Anderson will enter this top 20 if he's nominated forPhantom Threadand make it a three way tie with Bergman and Leigh (not bad company to be in!).But what about longshotAlexander PayneforDownsizingI hear you shouting into the void?Yes,he'd also join this top 20 if he were to receive his fourth Oscar nomination.He's already won the screenplay Oscar twice so that would tie him with George Seaton above.

What about the women?
The top female writers are all sadly outside that list though the writer's branch is more inclusive than some of the other below-the-line branches.The highest ranking woman in Oscar's screenwriting club is Frances Goodrich (most famous for the classic comedy franchiseThe Thin Manand work in the movie musical genre) who was nominated 4 times with her writing partner/husband Albert Hackett though they never won.Here's the full list of top women

1.Frances Goodrich(4 nominations but no wins)
2.[TIE]Ruth Prawer JhabvalaandFrances Marion(3 nominations and 2 wins)
All of Jhabvala's honors came from her collaboration with Merchant/Ivory but she was the sole screenwriter on their beloved films.All of Marion's nominations came from Oscar's first decade in which she wrote films likeThe ChampandThe Big House
4.[TIE]Nora EphronandRuth Gordon(3 nominations)
As beloved as Ephron and her films (Sleepless in Seattle,When Harry Met Sally,etcetera) were,she never won.Ruth Gordon did eventually win an Oscar but it wasn't for her writing nominations (A Double Life,Pat & Mike,Adam's Rib) but forher unforgettable acting in Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Living Female Screenwriters
Sadly all of five of these giant talents are deceased.No living female screenwriter comes anywhere close to their Oscar honors.Fran Walsh (Lord of the Rings),Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility),Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain),Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise),Jane Campion (The Piano),Diablo Cody (Juno) and Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) all won either Original or Adapted within the last 30 years but,with the exception of Fran Walsh,all of those Oscar wins were from their sole nominations as screenwriters.

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Reader Comments (5)

Brb shaking my fist at the sky because Amy Heckerling wasn't nommed for Clueless,nor Tina Fey for Mean Girls

December 10,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

I really can't stand Juno,especially its screenplay,but Young Adult is one of the best screenplays of the last decade,and Diablo Cody should have been an automatic nomination.(Can't say it was better than nominee A Separation,but it was infinitely better than winner Midnight in Paris)

December 10,2017 | Unregistered Commenterken s

Jakey -- right?such egregious omissions

December 10,2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

i want a frances marion biopic: actress/journalist/WWI correspondent/oscar-winning screenwriter as well as being best friends with mary pickford and married four times

plus all of the sexist crap she no doubt had to put up with back in the day

[pity ruth gordon isn't still around to write a quippy,fast-talkin' screenplay]

December 10,2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Isn't Tarantino also close to your list?3 noms,2 wins.One more nom and he's up there,too.

Ugh,this reminds me of our loss of Ephron.Such a great voice to have in movies,even if I didn't like everything she did.

December 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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