I missed Joker (I hate the world for this nomination), instead predicting A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Turns out the Academy is more interested in celebrating the Joker than Mr. Rogers... :/
AS FOR TH WIN:
Gold Derby is ranking The Irishman at #1 here, and there are ways in which that makes sense. Primarily: if its status in the Picture & Director races continues to stall out, then this will be a top category in which to acknowledge this impressive showing. But on the other hand: it's hard to imagine a boring 3.5 hour mobster movie winning a writing award. I'd like to see it lose on the mere inability for its revision team to count page numbers!
But: Greta Gerwig is a new Academy darling, and provided a unique & successful spin on this age-old Little Women yarn, and the movie wound up landing an almost-elusive best picture nod. And I think the not-quiet response to the lack of female presence among the best director nominees (for which she was far & away the most likely female to be nominated) will lead to a groundswell of support for HER, which will lead her to the podium. (Gold Derby is now calling it neck & neck between her & Irishman, so... yeah momentum is shifting.)
The only other contender that really has a chance is Taika Waititi's wildly inventive Jojo script. Waititi has been making waves through the industry for years and has finally made a movie that the Academy can love him for. It's the perfect category to tip a hat to this big 2019 flick, and to reward Waititi as well, so I wouldn't be shocked to see a Jojo upset here. But it's still a pretty long shot.
So glad Two Popes made it onto this list - it's a treasure.
And then there's Joker... I can't event.