Barry Jenkins (‘Beale Street’) may join Coppola, Payne and more in elite club of double Oscar winners for Adapted Screenplay

Barry Jenkins and Spike Lee made history this year as the first black writers to earn multiple nominations at the Oscars. They’re both up for Best Adapted Screenplay, Jenkins for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Lee for “BlacKkKlansman.” But Jenkins previously won this category for “Moonlight” (2016), so if he prevails again he will become the first black writer to claim multiple awards, and he would join an elite group of scribes with multiple Best Adapted Screenplay trophies on their mantels.

The auspicious list of multiple champs already includes Joseph L. Mankiewicz (“A Letter to Three Wives” and “All About Eve”), George Seaton (“Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Country Girl”), Robert Bolt (“Doctor Zhivago” and “A Man for All Seasons”), Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo (together for both “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II”), Alvin Sargent (“Julia” and “Ordinary People”), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (“A Room with a View” and “Howards End”), Alexander Payne (“Sideways” and “The Descendants”) and Michael Wilson (“A Place in the Sun” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai”).

Jenkins adapted “Beale Street” from a novel by James Baldwin, but despite the film’s pedigree and Jenkins’s reputation it might be tough for him to get past Lee and his “BlacKkKlansman” co-writers David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott. Klansman is one of only two nominees in the category this year that’s also up for Best Picture (along with “A Star is Born”), which indicates stronger overall support from the motion picture academy, and indeed it just won Best Adapted Screenplay from the British academy at the BAFTAs.

However, Jenkins did upset the “BlacKkKlansman” team at the Critics’ Choice Awards, so the door could be open for a surprise at the Oscars too. But only four of the last nine Critics’ Choice winners in this category have agreed with the academy. Nevertheless, three of the Expert journalists we’ve polled think Jenkins will upset at the Oscars: Erik Davis (Fandango), Eric Deggans (NPR) and Tim Gray (Variety). Could they be right?

Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on February 24.

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