Hollywood writers may be involved in an acrimonious strike that could result in the collapse of this year's Academy Awards, but 10 of their number have still been shortlisted for this year's two screenplay Oscars.

BRAD BIRD Ratatouille

Bird took over Ratatouille at a relatively late stage and came up with perhaps the most sophisticated and unconventional animated screenplay to date. Toy Story, Shrek and The Incredibles were all nominated for screenplay Oscars, and Ratatouille follows suit.

WHAT SCREEN SAID 'Ratatouille's unusual blend of human and animal characters, subtle charm and warm characterisations render it as sophisticated as any live-action film, and more than most.' Mike Goodridge


Cody's triumphant 2007 has seen her witty Juno script finally made, by Jason Reitman and Fox Searchlight, and become one of the best-reviewed films of the year. If Juno is this year's Little Miss Sunshine, she could go all the way to the Oscar, as Michael Arndt did last year.

WHAT SCREEN SAID 'The dialogue by debut screenwriter Cody is the kind of zinger talk that generates repeat visits to theatres by kids who want to memorise it (or just affect it, a la Napoleon Dynamite).' David D'Arcy

TONY GILROY Michael Clayton

The man who wrote the Bourne films came up with one of the year's smartest original scripts in Michael Clayton, which also marked his directorial debut. Gilroy tears into the ethically challenged men and women who commit crimes on a corporate level.

WHAT SCREEN SAID 'Audiences may not immediately warm to the more cerebral aspects of the script, a roundelay of a story which substantially returns to the first scene after a very long flashback.' Roger Clarke


For her first film since Slums Of Beverly Hills, Jenkins wrote a complex and unusual piece about the relationship between siblings coping with the death of their father. Jenkins tackles the subject matter with affecting humour and tenderness.

WHAT SCREEN SAID 'Jenkins' second feature examines the vicissitudes of suffering, loss and human frailty. Prickly humour, strong writing, excellent direction and magnificent acting.' Patrick Z McGavin

NANCY OLIVER Lars And The Real Girl

The first screenplay from Oliver, whose background is in theatre and TV (notably Six Feet Under), Lars And The Real Girl was the most eccentric original screenplay of the year. The story of a man who has a relationship with a blow-up doll may not sound particularly wholesome, but Oliver's Capra-esque fable is sweet and charming.

WHAT SCREEN SAID 'The dialogue is witty and sparkling and the comic timing impeccable.' David D'Arcy