Oscars Predictions: Original Screenplay – ‘May December’ Holds Firm for Screenwriter Samy Burch

Oscars Predictions: Original Screenplay – ‘May December’ Holds Firm for Screenwriter Samy Burch

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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:

OSCARS | EMMYS | GRAMMYS | TONYS

2023 Oscars Predictions:
Best Original Screenplay

Courtesy of A24

Weekly Commentary (Updated Jan. 8, 2024): With “Barbie” out of original screenplay, that leaves an opening for a new frontrunner to take the pole position. Films such as Celine Song’s “Past Lives” and Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers” could be the ones to duke it out, while Todd Haynes’ “May December” and Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” have both performed very well on the precursors circuit.

Regarding “May December” from debut screenwriter Samy Burch, it seems safer as the days continue with their dark comedic tones and memorable one-liners (“I don’t think we have enough hot dogs.”).

“Anatomy of a Fall” surprised at the Golden Globes, taking home the screenplay prize over “Barbie” and “Poor Things,” proving its strength with large groups of voters. If the buzz continues to rise, we see it become a viable contender to win the category.

That won’t be easy with the massive popularity of “The Holdovers” and the critical acclaim of “Past Lives.” We won’t have the WGA Awards to help out since they’re postponed until after the Oscars. Only BAFTA and Critics Choice will provide some clues.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 15, 2023. The preliminary shortlist for eight categories is from Dec. 14-18, with the results announcement dropping on Dec. 21. The Oscar nomination period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominees named on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.

  • Listed writer credits are not final. The Academy ultimately determines the official nominees.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. The Holdovers” (Focus Features) — David Hemingson
  2. Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon) — Justine Triet, Arthur Harari
  3. Past Lives” (A24) — Celine Song
  4. May December” (Netflix) — Samy Burch, Alex Mechanik
  5. Air” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Alex Convery

Next in Line


  1. Maestro” (Netflix) — Bradley Cooper, Josh Singer
  2. Fallen Leaves” (Mubi) — Aki Kaurismäki
  3. Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Emerald Fennell
  4. The Boy and the Heron” (GKids/Toho) — Hayao Miyazaki
  5. The Iron Claw” (A24) — Sean Durkin

Other Top-Tier Possibilities


  1. The Teachers Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics) — İlker Çatak, Johannes Duncker
  2. Dream Scenario” (A24) — Kristoffer Borgli
  3. Fair Play” (Netflix) — Chloe Domont
  4. Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures) — David Scarpa
  5. Asteroid City” (Focus Features) — Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
  6. Memory” (Ketchup Entertainment) — Michel Franco
  7. Rustin” (Netflix) — Julian Breece, Dustin Lance Black
  8. Fingernails” (Apple Original Films) — Christos Nikou
  9. Bottoms” (MGM/Orion) — Emma Seligman, Rachel Sennott
  10. Somewhere in Queens” (Roadside Attractions) — Ray Romano, Mark Stegemann

Also In Contention


  1. Elemental” (Pixar) — Peter Sohn, John Hoberg, Kat Likkel, Brenda Hsueh
  2. Beau is Afraid” (A24) — Ari Aster
  3. Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures) — Jennifer Lee, Allison Moore
  4. She Came to Me” (Vertical Entertainment) — Rebecca Miller
  5. Monica” (IFC Films) — Andrea Pallaoro, Orlando Tirado
  6. Asteroid City” (Focus Features) — Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
  7. Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films) — John Carney
  8. A Thousand and One” (Focus Features) — A.V. Rockwell
  9. Joy Ride” (Lionsgate) — Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Teresa Hsiao, Adele Lim
  10. Shayda” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Noora Niasari

Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**


  • The Creator” (20th Century Studios) — Gareth Edwards, Chris Weitz
  • Beau is Afraid” (A24) — Ari Aster
  • Dream Scenario” (A24) — Kristoffer Borgli
  • The Iron Claw” (A24) — Sean Durkin
  • Past Lives” (A24) — Celine Song
  • Showing Up” (A24) — Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt
  • You Hurt My Feelings” (A24) — Nicole Holofcener
  • Cassandro” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Roger Ross Williams, David Teague
  • A Million Miles Away” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Bettina Gilois, Hernán Jiménez, Alejandra Márquez Abella
  • Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Emerald Fennell
  • Fingernails” (Apple Original Films) — Christos Nikou
  • Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films) — John Carney
  • Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures) — David Scarpa
  • Golda” (Bleecker Street) — Nicholas Martin
  • Suzume” (Crunchyroll) — Makoto Shinkai
  • Asteroid City” (Focus Features) — Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
  • The Holdovers” (Focus Features) — David Hemingson
  • A Thousand and One” (Focus Features) — A.V. Rockwell
  • The Boy and the Heron” (GKids/Toho) — Hayao Miyazaki
  • Monica” (IFC Films) — Andrea Pallaoro, Orlando Tirado
  • Migration” (Illumination) — Mike White
  • Memory” (Ketchup Entertainment) — Michel Franco
  • Story Ave” (Kino Lorber) — Aristotle Torres, Bonsu Thompson
  • Joy Ride” (Lionsgate) — Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, Teresa Hsiao, Adele Lim
  • Master Gardener” (Magnolia Pictures) — Paul Schrader
  • Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM) — Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies
  • Bottoms” (MGM/Orion) — Emma Seligman, Rachel Sennott
  • A Good Person” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) — Zach Braff
  • Fallen Leaves” (Mubi) — Aki Kaurismäki
  • Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon) — Justin Triet, Arthur Harari
  • La Chimera” (Neon) — Alice Rohrwacher
  • Perfect Days” (Neon) — Takuma Takasaki, Wim Wenders
  • El Conde” (Netflix) — Pablo Larraín, Guillermo Calderón
  • Fair Play” (Netflix) — Chloe Domont
  • May December” (Netflix) — Samy Burch, Alex Mechanik
  • Maestro” (Netflix) — Bradley Cooper, Josh Singer
  • Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire” (Netflix) — Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Shay Hatten
  • Rustin” (Netflix) — Julian Breece, Dustin Lance Black
  • Elemental” (Pixar) — Peter Sohn, John Hoberg, Kat Likkel, Brenda Hsueh
  • Moving On” (Roadside Attractions) — Paul Weitz
  • Somewhere in Queens” (Roadside Attractions) — Ray Romano, Mark Stegemann
  • Chevalier” (Searchlight Pictures) — Stefani Robinson
  • The Miracle Club” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Jimmy Smallhorne, Timothy Prager, Joshua D. Maurer
  • Persian Version” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Maryam Keshavarz
  • Shayda” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Noora Niasari
  • The Teachers Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics) — İlker Çatak, Johannes Duncker
  • M3gan” (Universal Pictures) — Akela Cooper, James Wan
  • She Came to Me” (Vertical Entertainment) — Rebecca Miller
  • Barbie” (Warner Bros.) — Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach **
  • Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures) — Jennifer Lee, Allison Moore

2022 category winner: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) — Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

** indicates an unconfirmed release date in 2023 or could be campaigned or moved into another category. All release dates are subject to change.

Oscars Predictions Categories

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | BEST ACTOR | BEST ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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