How'd we do it?
First, we looked at which scripts were getting the most nominations from five other major award organizations, which revealed a clear Top 9. Then we added a wild-card guess in each category.
BAD WILD CARD GUESSES
BEST PICTURE vs. BEST SCREENPLAY
Between the two screenplay categories there are ten nominated scripts, but only nine films nominated for Best Picture. Discrepancies: Woody Allen's BLUE JASMINE (original screenplay nominee) and Richard Linklater's BEFORE MIDNIGHT (adapted screenplay nominee) were left off the Best Picture list, while GRAVITY is the only Best Picture nominee without a screenplay nomination.
ORIGINAL vs. ADAPTED
Spec sales are dinosaurs. Hollywood loves recycling proven ideas from books, comic books, TV shows, plays, foreign films, and old classics. Do they hate original screenplays?
For the first time in seven years, the Best Picture category favors the written-directly-for-the-screen types, with 5 originals and 4 adaptations vying for the top prize. In each of the last two years, the split was 6 adaptations and 3 originals, while it was evenly split in 2010 and 2011, the first two years of the expanded Best Picture category.
WRITER'S GUILD vs. THE ACADEMY
The writers branch of the Academy picks the screenwriting nominations. All Academy members in the writers branch are presumably WGA members, but not all WGA members are invited to the Academy. Also, the WGA has different eligibility rules, so 12 Years a Slave and Philomena were both ineligible for WGA nominations.
For Best Original Screenplay, all five WGA nominees also get to go to the Oscars.