With the 2022 Oscars quickly approaching, it’s important to acknowledge the great films that have come out this year despite the challenges of the pandemic and low theater attendance. This year has especially exceeded expectations when it comes to adapted screenplay.biz/top-screenplays/" 786 target="_blank">screenplays and the number of talented filmmakers that have come out to make projects that are diverse and truthful.

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Adapting a novel to a screenplay is a daunting challenge and, even with a great script, directorial choices can change everything as well. All this being said, many of the adapted screenplay.biz/top-screenplays/" 786 target="_blank">screenplays that were nominated for the 2022 Academy Awards are so amazing that many of them are competing for both Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture overall. However, it’s clear that some have stood out more than others to critics.

5 Dune

Josh Brolin Timothee Chalamet and Oscar Isaac in Dune

Dune was one of the biggest blockbuster releases in 2021 and has one of the most star-studded casts in this nomination category. The film is based on the book by Frank Herbert and follows the story of Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet, who travels to the most dangerous planet in the universe to protect his family and their future.

Though this story is being told in two parts, meaning this film was just the first half, its casting, screenplay, and score by Hans Zimmer all made this one of the best pictures of the year. Though science fiction hasn’t always had the best track record with winning Academy Awards, this adapted screenplay is surely a strong competitor in the pool, and Dune has the potential to sweep the Oscars.


The Rossi family clapping in the audience in CODA

CODA is also a great film to come from an adapted screenplay by Siân Heder that was based on the book titled “La Famille Bélier.” This family-friendly feature from Apple TV follows Ruby Rossi, the only hearing member of a deaf family who discovers her passion for singing and romance when she joins her high school’s choir club.

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This slice-of-life story is so sincere and heartfelt in its story delivery. Not only can almost everyone relate to the struggles of trying to grow up and figuring out who they are, but the plot also makes sure to justify why everyone feels the way they do. Though it doesn’t have a star-heavy cast, it’s able to better immerse audiences into the world than most films that do. Its message is truthful and will bring happy tears when needed.

3 The Lost Daughter

Woman gets angry on a person off screen in The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter, which is one of Peter Sarsgaard’s best films, is written and directed by the talented Maggie Gyllenhaal, who should definitely be up for best director this year as well. This film, adapted after the book by the same name by Elena Ferrante, is about a woman who goes on vacation and encounters a younger mother with her child that makes her contemplate her own early years of motherhood.

This film is Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut and it gives an honest portrayal of how difficult it is to be a young mom. It’s not as heartwarming of an adventure as CODA, but the way it produces the brutal truth and challenges that Leda faces is nuanced and meaningful. Gyllenhaal proved herself with both the writing and directing of this adapted story and she does the book justice.

2 Drive My Car

This script is an adaptation of the book by Haruki Murakami and is the only foreign nominee for this category at the Oscars this year. This film is one of the best contenders in this category because the writers, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, perfectly capture the storytelling style of Murakami. In his fashion, the film starts off with a simple premise, but it is made more complex by the themes and emotions of the characters as their situations become more and more intertwined.

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Drive My Car follows a widowed actor who seeks out a chauffeur and develops a special bond with the young woman who is recommended to him for the position. It is always difficult for international films to get nominated at the Academy Awards and, while representation has certainly improved in the past few years, this film stands out because it’s able to out-compete many Hollywood productions.

1 The Power Of The Dog

Phil and Peter riding horses in The Power of the Dog.

This film, written and directed by Jane Campion, is sure to take home at least a few Oscars because of its amount of nominations in several different categories. The story is adapted from Thomas Savage’s novel by the same name and features a cast of actors that know how to play these elevated drama roles in a way that caters to the Academy.

The Power of the Dog, which masterfully adapts the book into very memorable dialogue, follows a rancher who has a hard time accepting his brother’s wife and her son until something unexpected happens. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, and Jesse Plemons all deliver outstanding performances and the time period of the film only adds to the tension between the two brothers. Matched with Jane Campion’s directorial stylings, this film is one of the best adapted screenplay.biz/top-screenplays/" 786 target="_blank">screenplays of the year.

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