Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WGA Announces Nominees

The final guild of the day is also the most inconsequential, by which I refer to the Writers Guild of America. I say "inconsequential" not as a slight on their organization, but merely as an observation that their finalists for Best Adapted and Original Screenplay have little to no bearing on the Oscar race due to their long list of ineligible titles.

This year, heavyweight writing contenders that were DQed by this guild include Birdman, Selma, Mr. Turner, and The Theory of Everything. So no, don't expect Guardians of the Galaxy to earn a surprise nomination for its script.
Read some additional thoughts on all the nominees below:

Original Screenplay
Boyhood - Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher - E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler -Dan Gilroy
Whiplash - Damien Chazelle
An interesting wrinkle to consider here is that the Academy has erroneously decided to categorize Whiplash an an adaptation (the short film by Chazelle was a selection of his already completed script). Considering how many guild ineligibilities pertain to this category, as few as two of these nominees could survive to the Oscar ballot.

Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper - Jason Hall
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Guardians of the Galaxy - James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
The Imitation Game - Graham Moore
Wild - Nick Hornby
Due to the dearth of quality, this category was more settled than Original Screenplay, but the recategorization of Whiplash has complicated things. Now there are three potential Oscar nominees on the outside of this WGA field: Theory of Everything, Whiplash, and Inherent Vice. Which one will replace Guardians? And will another one of these WGA nominees fall out?

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY
Finding Vivian Maier - John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz - Brian Knappenberger
Last Days in Vietnam - Mark Bailey, Kevin McAlester
Red Army - Gabe Polsky
All of these are on the Oscar shortlist except for Red Army (which I'm still stoked to see!). But neither of the frontrunners are present.

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