Pre-Guild Nomination Predictions
David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee "BlacKkKlansman"
Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole "Black Panther"
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
Barry Jenkins "If Beale Street Could Talk"
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters "A Star is Born"
Other Contenders - Josh Singer "First Man", Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini "Leave No Trace", David Magee "Mary Poppins Returns", Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen "Widows", Audrey Wells "The Hate U Give", Joel Edgerton "Boy Erased", Jeff Pope "Stan And Ollie", Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim "Crazy Rich Asians"
Commentary - Spike Lee may finally, after over thirty years of making provocative films, win an Academy Award. BlacKkKlansman has risen to the top in the early guild and critics awards, and definitely feels like something the writers branch will embrace. A Star is Born is the Best Picture frontrunner, but this is not the kind of film that usually wins here, and this is usually where consolation prizes are rewarded. Beyond those two, I think Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which has done well in early screenplay prizes, is in, and Nicole Holofcener has been deserving of a nod for years. Black Panther is now a legit contender. It needed that Globe and SAG nod, and the industry clearly is ready to reward it. If it is really going to breakthrough, it needs writing and/or directing nods. I think Coogler is getting close to cracking the top five for director (and am seriously considering moving him in), but I think he is even closer to a screenplay nod. Finally, I am holding out for If Beale Street Could Talk. It slipped with no SAG love, but Jenkins won his category recently, and those who see the film, love it. Right on the outside of those five is Josh Singer, as First Man continues to slip, and Leave No Trace, which is definitely the kind of film that this branch has supported in the past. I also think Widows, Mary Poppins Returns, Boy Erased, Stan and Ollie and Crazy Rich Asians are in the mix. Finally, the late Audrey Wells could snag a nod for her emotional and wonderful script for The Hate U Give.