Crash, screenplay by Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco; story by Paul Haggis
PRO: Suavely intercut movie provides ensemble cast with brilliant nuanced characters
CON: Wouldn't it have been fun to see Matt Dillon and Sandra Bullock in the David Cronenberg version, which had more weird sex in it?
Good Night, and Good Luck, screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov
PRO: It's smart, and we love Diane Reeves, and it holds the viewer's attention without sex or violence.
CON: No sex or violence. Clooney came from TV, and he wrote a small screenplay. Boil it down, and you get: "Hey kids, let's put on a show."
Match Point, written by Woody Allen
PRO: Respected filmmaker breaks away from semi-autobiographical trend in his films
CON: May have gone to London to make movie, but probably won't go to LA for award
The Squid and the Whale, written by Noah Baumbach
PRO: The "next Woody Allen" hype's a bit much, but he does produce a fine thinking man's comedy (see 1995's Kicking and Screaming )
CON: Academy members have little patience with charcters who are only on their first divorce.
Syriana, written by Stephen Gaghan
PRO: Gaghan pulls off another intricate movie about U.S. foreign policy; call it Traffic with oil
CON: Looking for Syriana on a map leads to nothing but heartache
Brokeback Mountain, screenplay by Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana
PRO: With eight noms, Brokeback is a poised for an awards sweep -- and could take this category with it.
CON: The source material was only 20 pages -- and it shows.
Capote, screenplay by Dan Futterman
PRO: The medium's rare: overcame challenge of creating a screenplay about a writer researching a book that many know only as a movie.
CON: Can he really move past having been on four episodes of Will and Grace?
The Constant Gardener screenplay by Jeffrey Caine
PRO: May actually have been the best movie of the year; see it before you disagree with us.
CON: While there is some gardening in the movie, it's far from constant.
A History of Violence, screenplay by Josh Olson
PRO: Improves on the original story, a brutal graphic novel, with more sex (including yummy Maria Bello in a cheerleader outfit) and a different ending.
CON: Sex additions good, but leave us wanting more. Why not go all out and make it A History of Cheerleading?
Munich, Screenplay by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth
PRO: Best explanation of tangled Middle East situation since David Hare's Via Dolorosa.
CON: Cycle of 1) Supporting character point-of-view speech; 2) supporting character ugly death; 3) Eric Bana troubled reaction gets a bit repetitive by Hour 3.
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