Promising Young Woman Wins Historic Oscar For Best Original Screenplay

by : Cameron Frew on :
Promising Young Woman Wins Historic Oscar For Original Best ScreenplayFocus Features

Emerald Fennell has won Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, ending a 13-year drought for female winners. 

The 2010s, while filled with incredible films which have moulded the face of cinema forever, never awarded a woman for a screenplay at the Academy Awards. Year after year, there were nominees, but no winners.


This year, we’ve had two female nominees across the original and adapted categories, who’ve also earned Best Director nominations: Fennell and Chloé Zhao for Nomadland.

Focus Features Focus Features

In the Best Original Screenplay category, Fennell beat Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7, Lee Isaac Chung for Minari, Abraham Marder, Darius Marder and Derek Cianfrance for Sound of Metal and Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas and Kenneth Lucas for Judas and the Black Messiah.

The last woman to win an Oscar in the category was Diablo Cody for 2007’s Judo. For Best Adapted Screenplay, it stretches back to 2005’s Brokeback Mountain, penned by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry.

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Since then, female nominees have failed to win on the night. Last year, both Greta Gerwig (for Little Women) and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (for 1917) were considered favourites in some corners, but the awards went to Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit and Bong Joon-ho for Parasite – winners which are hard to argue with, especially the latter.

Fennell recently told The Guardian: ‘Carey [Mulligan] and I are quite shellshocked and overwhelmed. I still feel my brain is somewhere else. When we spoke a year ago, I was hoping that maybe the film would find an audience of some kind. You have to moderate your expectations. And so for this to happen is just amazing.’

Promising Young Woman is available to stream on Sky Cinema and NOW TV now. 


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Academy Awards, Oscars


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    ‘It’s wild!’ Carey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell on making Oscars history