Sunday, February 10, 2019

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay

The competition: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel and Ethan Coen), BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott), Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty), If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins), A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters and Eric Roth)

Previous winners: Call Me By Your Name, Moonlight, The Big Short, The Imitation Game, 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Descendants
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!
The facts: This is the sixth screenplay bid for the Coen Brothers, who won writing prizes for “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men” in addition to a directing win for the latter. Lee was nominated for his screenplay for “Do the Right Thing” in 1989, and also contends this year for directing and producing his film. Jenkins won this award in 2016 for “Moonlight” in addition to a directing bid for that film. This is Cooper’s first writing nomination, and he’s also up for acting (his fourth time) and producing (his second) this year. Roth won this award in 1994 for “Forrest Gump” and he has been nominated here three times since. This is the first nomination for all the other writers. The last film to win this award without a Best Picture nod was “Gods and Monsters” in 1998, which may change this year since only “BlacKkKlansman,” which won the corresponding BAFTA, and “A Star is Born” are up for the top award. Only “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” isn’t nominated for a WGA Award. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” were both nominated for the USC Scripter Award, which went to “Leave No Trace.”
Who should win: I loved the first segment of “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” but found everything after that less than impressive. “A Star is Born” was a good film, but I wouldn’t cite its screenplay as its strongest element. I wasn’t as fond of “BlacKkKlansman” as most, but I can appreciate its quality. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” was entertaining and solid. My choice would be “If Beale Street Could Talk,” a wondrous and rich film with superb dialogue.
Who will win: I’d like to think that If Beale Street Could Talk wins this just as easily as “Call Me By Your Name” did last year without momentum in other categories. Watch out for “BlacKkKlansman” or “A Star is Born” to earn some love here and potentially knock it out.

No comments: