Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Writers Guild Nominations

Words. I love them. And if you're reading maybe you do, too. Or do I provide too many photoshop goodies to for any wordy appeal. Never mind. Blogger has decided photos are off limits today. No illustrations for you. The Writers Guild have announced their nominations for this film year and they go like so...


I knew that Woody Allen would eventually show up. One should never bet against him in the Screenplay races. Remarkably he'd been pretty absent up until now in the precursors. This lineup is bad news for both Jenny Lumet's Rachel Getting Married and Courtney Hunt's Frozen River which had been getting precursor attention. After last year's record making Oscar lineup --three female screenwriters were nominated (for Juno, The Savages and Away From Her) --we might go back to an all boys club. No girls allowed. Girls have cooties.
  • Adapted Screenplay
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    , Eric Roth (Story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord). Based on the Short Story by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Dark Knight
    , Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (Story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer). Based on Characters Appearing in DC Comic Books
    Doubt
    , John Patrick Shanley. Based on his Stage Play
    Frost/Nixon
    , Peter Morgan. Based on his Stage Play
    Slumdog Millionaire
    , Simon Beaufoy. Based on the Novel "Q and A" by Vikas Swarup

Though this race isn't truly competitive, it'll be interesting to see which film Oscar voters will dump should they be in a Kate Winslet picture mood, The Reader and Revolutionary Road being the only possible challengers. Two smart foreign possibilities that don't have a snowball's chance in hell: Let the Right One In and The Class. >sniffle<

  • Documentary
    Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story
    Stefan Forbes, Noland Walker
    Chicago 10
    Brett Morgan
    Fuel
    Johnny O’Hara
    Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson
    Alex Gibney; from the words of Hunter S. Thompson
    Waltz With Bashir
    Ari Folman (see previous post)

Documentary screenwriting awards might sound odd at first glance. Might that skill be much closer to film editing in "shaping" the end product than traditional writing? But still, the shaping must be done so it's good they have this prize. Oscar does not.

And just when you thought this ordeal was over -- a whole post without photos (!) -- here's MY ballot. A couple new FB Awards for you... (drafted shortly before this announcement) because I always have to have a say.

23 comments:

Hayden said...

Jenny Lumet's snub makes me sick. Not to knock Hathaway (my current and probable year-end win), but what makes her the only thing worth recognizing about Rachel Getting Married? It's so sad that the year's best film is being reduced to a mere star vehicle.

You're a good soldier, Nathaniel.

Hayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FenixPahedi said...

I think they are not going to be any screeplays involving Winslet in the AMPAS nominations.

Adapted will go exactly as WGA said.

The real surprises will come in the Original area. Locks: Milk and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah original could still be volatile what with WALL•E, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED and FROZEN RIVER all out there still...

FenixPahedi said...

Don't forget The Visitor and The Wrestler, also seeking spots.

Kevin D. said...

Am I the only one happy to see the Coen bros finally gettign some attention for Burn After Reading? Not gonna lie, it was the only screenplay that really stood out to me this year( as usual wit hthe coens)

Bernardo said...

Woohoo! I got 5/5 in predicting the FilmBitch Adapted Screenplays!

Kent said...

I'm very surprised by noms for BURN AFTER READING from the WGA and your own FB awards. I love the excitement!

Even though RACHEL GETTING MARRIED wasn't notice by WGA, it's still in the running.

Ditto for WALL-E!

alex said...

I'm surprised (and disappointed) that the refreshing script of 'Reprise' was ignored in the FB awards, and instead nominated the not-so-clever script of 'Burn After Burning'.

C'mon, one is a lucid reconstruction and/or mix of little stories as a big one; the other a festin of 'fuck, fuck, fuck'. Hilarious, yeah, but ever close to the brillance and complexity of 'Reprise'.

But these are your awards so...

Arkaan said...

I think much of the strength in Reprise lies in it's gloriously energetic direction, to be honest. I don't remember many of the exchanges, but the moment when two characters hold hands nearly had me applauding it was such a beautifully timed moment.

Burn After Reading is too inconsistent, but it's a defiantly funny joke that actually has many trenchant things to say about our current mindset.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see your Adapted Screenplay nominees,shortlisters include so many films you didn't love.

-Jason

NATHANIEL R said...

well, it wasn't a good year for adapted screenplay.

but then i usually prefer the "originals" anyway. I'm opposite of Oscar voters in that way for some reason.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I don't think The Dark Knight (or Iron Man, which was nominated at the Scripters) will be getting to the Oscars with a screenplay nomination. I do think it's much likelier that one of the Winslet titles will take it's spot.

I still think Wall-E and Rachel Getting Married are set for Oscar in the place of Burn After Reading and The Wrestler although having just seen Frozen River today... wow. I would love for Courtney Hunt to make it in there especially since she hasn't a hope in hell of a Best Director spot.

Can you tell I LOVED Frozen River?

Anonymous said...

That's infuriating that "Rachel Getting Married" was snubbed for that smug and too-pleased-with-itself "Burn After Reading." I was at least thinking that Lumet was always in regardless, but now, I don't know. I'm still rooting for "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "In Bruges" regardless.

The adapted screenplay lineup looks like the Oscar final list verbatim. Go "The Dark Knight"!

Dom said...

Ugh. All this "Doubt" attention makes me sick. I am so glad I snuck in and didn't pay to see this film because I would have asked for my money back. I mean, I thought I probably could have done a better job directing than John Patrick Shanley and I suck.

I saw it after "Revolutionary Road' and, honestly, that film deserves the WGA nod more than "Doubt".

I also finally saw Slumdog. Not as ordinary as you're making it out to be (though not great either: I'll admit the SAG nods are definite headscratchers), but still I have to say that when Jamal phones-a-friend Latika and wins the money, I felt a warm fuzzy feeling inside...

adam k. said...

I can't believe Rachel missed here. I thought it was THE screenplay to beat in the original category. Is anyone thinking about the win? Are people just assuming it'll go to Milk? Honestly, that seems a little boring. And aren't quirky indies supposed to win here? Possibly even quirky indies by daughters of famous industry types?

Is Jenny Lumet not part of the writers' guild? Sometimes that knocks people out of these.

In any case, I think only Woody and Milk are safe here. I could see all the other three being replaced by some combo of Rachel Getting Married, Happy-Go-Lucky, WALL•E, In Bruges and Frozen River. Crazy competitive category.

And I do have a hard time seeing Dark Knight nominated for screenplay. I think The Reader takes its place.

Catherine said...

Not the best line-up I could've dreamt up, but I need to celebrate a little for Tom McCarthy, who I am absolutely enamoured with.

And these comments are reminding me of how frustrated I am that I can't tell whether Frozen River has already opened here or will ever open here or if it's on dvd or what. It's driving me nuts.

mrripley said...

what are cooties!!!!!!

NATHANIEL R said...

mrripley ... cooties

Michael C. said...

I'm really disappointed to see In Bruges miss here. It looks like quite the longshot now.

Moasey said...

Yeah...more Film Bitch Awards!!!

Love your "cooties" attachement too.

Adrian said...

Actually, Sarah Polley's script for Away From Her was nominated for Adapted Screenplay. Nancy Oliver was the third woman in the Original category for Lars and the Real Girl.

OccidentalOrientals said...

So many movies that earned best actress nominations were star vehicles as well. Being Julia, Transamerica, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Iris, Monster, A Mighty Heart, Maria Full of Grace, Tumbleweeds and Vera Drake never were seen by very wide audiences anyway.

At the same time, Mrs Henderson Presents, Transamerica, Iris, Proof, A Mighty Heart, etc. just sound like pure oscar bait anyway. They're not marketed as movies so much as they're marketed as performance vehicles. Their taglines are usually something like "come see Judi Dench/Felicity Huffman/Gwenyth Paltrow act like they've never acted before as they play the challenging role of a depressed woman with a rare disease who ended up with a significant accomplishment of some sort."

Biopics are hard to sell unless they're engaging stories and some of the male biopics (although I thought the baity performance from A Mighty Heart was intriguing enough since it involved a recent historic event) are marketed better as stories: A Beautiful Mind was an insane mathematician, Insider was about a man who went against a company, Ray and Walk the Line were about men who were music legends, Flash of Genius dealt with intellectual property issues, etc.