This category is very tough to work out. Martin McDonagh won the BAFTA award and the Golden Globe in this category, but one could suggest that BAFTA is more British-leaning (McDonagh is British) and that the Golden Globes don’t matter too much (because they don’t). Jordan Peele won Critics’ Choice award, which has lined up plenty with the Oscars in this category, as well as the WGA award; although, McDonagh wasn’t eligible to compete for the WGA award as he’s not part of the organization, so it’s difficult to tell whether or not Peele’s win puts him ahead of McDonagh.
I’m going to lean toward Jordan Peele, mostly because of the WGA win, but also because of the Critics’ Choice parallel and the fact that I think it’s the best nominated original script (and I believe that the Academy mostly gets this category right). And while McDonagh won the BAFTA, Peele also received a Best Director nomination, something that could boost his chances in this category. McDonagh did not receive a director nomination.
It’s tough to eliminate Lady Bird, though, especially because of how prevalent and prominent of a figure Greta Gerwig has been throughout the awards season. If Lady Bird could jump back into contention anywhere, it would likely be here.
Finally, don’t completely rule out Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water, as its widespread love will send votes to this category.
Jordan Peele — Get Out
Greta Gerwig — Lady Bird
Martin McDonagh — Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani — The Big Sick
Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor — The Shape of Water
Will win: Jordan Peele — Get Out
Could win: Martin McDonagh — Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Should win: Jordan Peele — Get Out
Should’ve been nominated: Paul Thomas Anderson — Phantom Thread
Featured image via Universal Pictures.