Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell for District 9
Nick Hornby for An Education
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Ianucci and Tony Roche for In the Loop
Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up in the Air
There was at least a degree of surprise at the BAFTAs this year that it wasn’t one of the English nominees that took home this prize. After all, An Education managed to garner eight nominations overall and ended up walking home with little in return from the one place it would have felt most favoured. I’ve never been a big supporter of that film – it’s beautifully acted but the construction ends up feeling rushed and gives the film a slightness which undermines the acting – but, even with that known, I don’t think Nick Hornby has any chance of going home with this.
Up in the Air, which won the BAFTA, seems pretty close to a shoe-in for this prize at the moment. I can’t really support Geoffrey Fletcher’s inclusion in this category, given that I felt Precious was all over the shop from a script perspective, but he’s the only one with enough juice to take on Reitman and Turner in this category.
In the Loop, for its absolute brilliance, will suffer both from the size and exposure of the film and from the sense of humour it revels in. Add to that the amount of improvisation which occurs with the actors and you’d be hard pushed to make any case for why it could win the prize. District 9 is another I can’t quite get behind, though the two deserve reward for taking the sci-fi action genre and reinvigorating it with not only a sense of fun but with a probing intelligence. Bravo undoubtedly, but a nod is the most it will get. Reitman and Turner all the way.
Predicted Winner: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up in the Air