‘Tis the season. While less a barometer for the more comprehensive awards programs, particularly the Oscars, than other industry groups like the Producers’ Guild, the Writers’ Guild nominations are nonetheless a piece to the puzzle. In a year in which the races are still so up in the air, particularly, the WGA Awards nominations could prove telling.
Here’s the list of all the nominees:
American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her, Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Bob Nelson
August: Osage County, Tracy Letts; Based on his play
Before Midnight, Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty
Lone Survivor, Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort
Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill & David Riker
Herblock – The Black & The White, Sara Lukinson & Michael Stevens
No Place on Earth, Janet Tobias & Paul Laikin
Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Alex Gibney
The first of several titles which jumps out is Blue Jasmine, which as we noted was also a surprise achiever on the Producers’ Guild list of nominees. Although the Writers’ Guild has traditionally been more complementary of Woody Allen than the Academy, it’s worth noting that on the three prior occasions he won a Best Screenplay Oscar, the victory was proceeded by a WGA win. Dallas Buyers Club also figures as something of a surprise in the Original Screenplay category. In the Adapted section, Lone Survivor is the main curiosity. The film debuted in limited release just before the end of the year, but has failed to generate much buzz thus far. The nomination here is perhaps as much on the strength of the source material as anything else. Also of not is that it and the relatively maligned August: Osage County beat out Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and 12 Years A Slave. This is the first major list all season on which Steve McQueen’s intense slavery drama has failed to secure a mention.
The WGA will announce the winners in dual ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles on February 1.