Who’ll win the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 2005?
Much as we love Before Sunset — its inclusion in this category was one of the happiest surprises this year — its team of Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Kim Krizan should probably just split a bottle of cabernet at their seats in the Kodak Theatre and enjoy the show. Likewise for Finding Neverland’s David Magee and The Motorcycle Diaries’ José Rivera: That they’ve earned nominations for their first produced feature screenplays will have to be reward enough. This race comes down to Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor’s bittersweet Sideways, which has seemingly won every award under the sun so far, and Paul Haggis’ Million Dollar Baby, which features expert use of spare dialogue, profound descriptions of the sport of boxing, and an effective voice-over framing device. But the voters may also realize that they haven’t checked off Sideways that often on their ballots (Lost in Translation’s only win last year was in the screenplay category) and could raise their collective glass to the little comedy that could.