In today’s post, we will be taking a look at the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards.
Will win: BlacKkKlansman
Should win: A Star is Born
Also nominated: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, If Beale Street Could Talk
It will probably be considered an upset if anything but BlacKkKlansman goes on to win the award for Best Adapted Screenplay – however, put simply, it is not the strongest screenplay nominated in this category. BlacKkKlansman is a fine film and its screenplay does a serviceable job, but one does have to wonder if its perceived dominance here is largely because of Spike Lee’s involvement. Lee is a brilliant director who has inexplicably failed to garner much attention from the Academy during his long and illustrious career. Given that his nominations in the Best Director and Best Picture categories this year are unlikely to yield any golden statuettes, Best Adapted Screenplay may well be the token award that rights the wrongs of Academy Awards gone by.
In truth, the more deserving winner would be Bradley Cooper, Eric Roth and Will Fetters’ screenplay for A Star is Born. It has been well documented that this is a film that has been remade numerous times throughout the years, with Cooper’s directorial debut serving as its fourth iteration. Far from retreading old ground, this is a screenplay which confidently reimagines the story for a different generation, adding layers of vibrancy that make it feel bold and dynamic. It is no easy feat to make a story told this many times feel so fresh and relevant, and it is a great shame that it will likely go overlooked.
Whilst If Beale Street Could Talk and Can You Ever Forgive Me? both appear to have outside chances of doing well here, neither are strong enough to make waves that could rock the boat, and all the signs continue to point towards a win for BlacKkKlansman.