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From left: BlacKkKlansman and The Favourite – are they the favourites to win?

Spike Lee is finally going to win a competitive Oscar to go along with his Honorary one from 2016.

Although the screenplay for BlacKkKlansman has four credited writers (only four other times in Oscar history have that many shared a win) this is going to be Lee’s. Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott will undoubtedly give the mic to Lee (especially if they only have 90 seconds) in what could, and should, be a watershed moment and electrifying speech.

Weirdly though, this category has seen precursors land all over the place. BlacKkKlansman took the BAFTA (its only win there), If Beale Street Could Talk won Critics’ Choice but then last weekend Can You Ever Forgive Me? stunned both by winning the WGA. It might be easy to dismiss that win as a writers’ group giving an award to a screenplay about writers but I think it’s just one more piece of the most split Oscar season in decades. Food for thought: If Beale Street Could Talk is the only nominee to hit the Globes, Critics’ Choice, BAFTA, USC, WGA. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is nearly the same, missing the Globe nom (which BlacKkKlansman also missed) but picking up the Spirit nom and of course, the WGA win.

Original Screenplay is a real race and the winner here is absolutely going to be the crystal ball to Best Picture. If Green Book wins (it has the Globe) I think you say Best Picture isn’t simply in reach, it’s happening. It also kind of needs it if it’s going to win Best Picture (at least 80 years of history says so). If The Favourite wins (like it did at BAFTA) then the race remains open. If anything else wins…I’ll be surprised.

This is another category where the precursors split three ways. First Reformed managed a Critics’ Choice win (a total shocker) so if one thing’s clear it’s that there is no consensus. The Writers Guild gave another shock in this category when it gave its win to Eighth Grade, which isn’t even nominated here (The Favourite was ineligible so who knows how that would have turned out). I’m going with The Favourite because it’s simply a script that demands a win. It’s the type of screenplay that wins here and film is the nomination co-leader.


1. BLACKkKLANSMAN – Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee (BAFTA)
2. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? – Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty (WGA)
5. A STAR IS BORN – Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
BAFTA – British Film Academy Awards
BFCA – Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics Choice)
WGA – Writers Guild of America


1. THE FAVOURITE – Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara (BAFTA)
2. GREEN BOOK – Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly (GG)
3. VICE – Adam McKay
4. ROMA – Alfonso Cuarón
5. FIRST REFORMED – Paul Schrader (BFCA)
BAFTA – British Film Academy Awards
BFCA – Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics Choice)
GG – Golden Globe

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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