Four of the Oscar nominees were also nominated by the WGA, including returning veteran Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” (Focus Features), following Lee’s Original Screenplay nod for “Do the Right Thing,” and his 2016 honorary Oscar. Produced by Jordan Peele and Jason Blum, “BlacKkKlansman,” the outrageous and provocative true tale of two Colorado undercover cops (John David Washington and Adam Driver) who join the KKK, landed a total six nominations.
Also WGA-nominated are Bradley Cooper and Oscar-winner Eric Roth’s adaptation of “A Star is Born” (Warner Bros.), starring Cooper and Lady Gaga. “Moonlight” Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins is back in the hunt with his Critics Choice-winning adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 Harlem romance “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Plan B/Annapurna). The drama stars veterans Regina King as a mother fighting to find justice for her pregnant daughter’s imprisoned partner (Kiki Layne and Stephan James).
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Long overdue for Oscar recognition is Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said”), who adapted Lee Israel’s memoir “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Fox Searchlight), starring Melissa McCarthy and directed by Marielle Heller (“Diary of a Teenage Girl”), which could land Holofcener her first Oscar nod.
Photo by Mary Cybulski
The surprise Oscar nominee, which is not among the WGA contenders, is Oscar perennials Joel and Ethan Coen’s Netflix anthology western “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
Contenders are listed in order of their likelihood to win.
Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters (“A Star is Born”)
Joel and Ethan Coen (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”)