Best Original Screenplay
Normally there are less original screenplay contenders than adapted, but this year is full of great screenplays. There are many that would do well in any other year, but this category is too strong. Rush and Prisoners are not strong enough to earn a nomination. All is Lost looks to be shut out completely outside of Redford. Short Term 12 could earn its only nomination here, but that is a small chance.
Nicole Holefcenter has her best received script yet with Enough Said. Jeff Nichols' Mud is one of the best reviewed films of the year and features a strong screenplay. Danny Strong is a successful writer who wrote a good screenplay for The Butler. But lack of enthusiasm by the precursors and slight controversy hurts his chances.
Dallas Buyers Club earned a surprise WGA nomination, but there are still stronger contenders. If Inside Llewyn Davis has a chance this year it will be for Joel and Ethan Coens writing, but that has not been recognized very consistently. Kelly Marcel's script for Saving Mr. Banks was the top spot on the blacklist recently, but that movie's buzz is only so-so. Ryan Coogler's screenplay for Fruitvale Station should do well here, but that movie has not been doing very well in precursors. Jonas and Alfonso Cuaron's screenplay for Gravity works well with the impressive visuals, but it may be overlooked due to its strong technical elements.
Spike Jonze's first screenplay Her is the type that is easy to recognize here. Woody Allen's writing is one of the stronger parts of Blue Jasmine. A potential contender to win is Nebraska by Bob Nelson. The likely winner is David O. Russell and Eric Singer's American Hustle. However many of the previously named films also have a chance.
American Hustle by David O. Russell and Eric Singer
Nebraska by Bob Nelson
Blue Jasmine by Woody Allen
Her by Spike Jonze
Gravity by Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron
Runner-Ups: Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler, Saving Mr. Banks by Kelly Marcel, Inside Llewyn Davis by Joel and Ethan Coen
Best Adapted Screenplay
There are fewer adapted contenders this year than usual. Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom are far outside contenders. August: Osage County and Lone Survivor have a bit of a larger chance. Jason Reitman is a respected writer, but Labor Day looks to be completely shut out this year. This is the only category where Spectacular Now stands any chance. Blue is the Warmest Color could also pick up a notice here.
It is most likely that Philomena, Captain Phillips and Before Midnight will earn nominations. Philomena's script has received strong notice at festivals and precursors. Captain Phillips is status as a best picture contender will help it here. Before Midnight will most likely earn a nomination, similar to Before Sunrise.
Wolf of Wall Street by Terence Winter has a small chance at winning, but will most likely be nominated. This category looks like a clean win for John Ridley's 12 Years a Slave, the frontrunning film for the year.
12 Years a Slave by John Ridley
Wolf of Wall Street by Terence Winter
Philomena by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Captain Phillips by Billy Ray
Before Midnight by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke
Runner-Ups: Tough to Say, not sure outside of the predicted five