Predict the WGA and Scripter nominees

Posted by · 11:25 am · January 3rd, 2011

Also speaking up tomorrow will be the WGA (Writers Guild of America).  The recently revealed list of ineligibilities makes picking this group’s choices much more fun, though it still kinda stinks because you know some of the best scripts of the year will be spectators.

Last year the beneficiaries of the purge (which ultimately missed with Oscar) were “Crazy Heart,” “Julie & Julia” and “Star Trek” in adapted, “(500) Days of Summer,” “Avatar” and “The Hangover” in original.  From my vantage, there doesn’t appear to be as many options to choose from on the periphery of these races, but I’ll give it a stab.

Click on through the jump to see my picks in the adapted and original categories, as well as discussion of the USC Scripter Awards.  (I’ll opt out of picking the documentary field from the WGA, which is likely to be a crap shoot, anyway.)

Original Screenplay
“Black Swan”
“Conviction”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The Kids Are All Right”

This is where you could get really creative with your picks.  “Another Year,” “Blue Valentine” and “The King’s Speech” are on the sidelines.  I’m going with “The Fighter” (a rather easy pick) and, well, eeny, meny, miny…“Conviction?” Sure, sounds good.  But it could just as easily be “Get Low” or, probably a safer call (since they like comedies at the guild), something like “Greenberg.” For that matter, “Easy A” would be an admirable pick.

Adapted Screenplay
“127 Hours”
“Rabbit Hole”
“The Social Network”
“The Town”
“True Grit”

With “Toy Story 3” and “Winter’s Bone” out of the running, there are at least two spots up for grabs here.  You see what I’m banking on, but also possible is “Shutter Island” or, in a real swerve, respect for author Mordecai Richler could help “Barney’s Version” prove to be a real shocker.

“The Ghost Writer” is not eligible, but it could show up elsewhere tomorrow, so…

While we’re on the subject of adaptations, we might as well dive into the Scripter Awards.  The USC Libraries’ annual honor “in recognition of the best adaptation of the printed word into film…given to both the author and screenwriter,” as the official literature puts it, will see a list of finalists revealed tomorrow as well.

I used to enjoy this award a lot more because it was largely limited to novel adaptations.  In recent years the rules have expanded to include adaptations of comic books, other screenplays, the backs of cereal boxes, VCR instruction manuals and DVD liner notes, among all other things under the sun.  As a result, in my opinion, it’s just another award in the maelstrom, lacking the identity it once had.

That’s not to say the selection committee doesn’t make some interesting picks, though.  Just two years ago it was the outside-the-box (and totally embarrassing, some might say) selection of “Iron Man” over “The Dark Knight.” What will happen this year?  I’m thinking:

USC Libraries Scripter Award
“The Ghost Writer”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”

It’ll be a little different.  Other possibilities include “Never Let Me Go,” which would offer an opportunity to recognize author Kazuo Ishiguro, “The Way Back,” which was adapted from Slavomir Rawicz’s “The Long Walk” (Ed Harris is a committee member, interestingly enough), “Barney’s Version” and “Shutter Island.” And if they want to throw a bone to a playwright, “Rabbit Hole.” I’ll stick with the above, though.

But enough about me.  What about you?  (And don’t forget to take a stab at PGA predictions here.)

[Photo: Summit Entertainment]




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13 responses so far

  • 1 1-03-2011 at 11:32 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m pretty sure “The Ghost Writer” is also ineligible for the WGA.

    As for original, I have a strong feeling “Get Low” is going to show up.

  • 2 1-03-2011 at 11:50 am

    Nick Davis said...

    Speaking of imminent awards, apologies if everyone else already knows, but when is the NSFC announcement?

  • 3 1-03-2011 at 11:50 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Guy: Oops, yes, you’re right. But I still think it could get in with the Scripters.

    Nick: Haven’t heard.

  • 4 1-03-2011 at 12:08 pm

    Rob T. said...

    I put together a set of WGA predictions before looking at your picks, and found I agreed with 9 out of 10 of your choices. The lone exception was Greenberg in place of Conviction for the wild card among originals.

    Interestingly, another beneficiary of WGA ineligibilities last year was Avatar, of all things. (Besides acting, scripting areas was one of the few areas in which the Academy spurned Avatar entirely.)

    (Also, you mentioned Made in Dagenham in connection with the originals; like most of the British-made contenders, it’s not eligible for the WGA awards.)

  • 5 1-03-2011 at 12:21 pm

    DylanS said...

    Original:
    The Fighter
    Greenberg
    Get Low
    Inception
    The Kids Are All Right

    Adapted:
    The Town
    127 Hours
    The Social Network
    True Grit
    Rabbit Hole

    The “Greenberg” nom is a pure wild card. Baumbach recieved a nomination for “Squid and the Whale” so I take it the branch must like him

  • 6 1-03-2011 at 12:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Thanks Rob. Subbing that note for Greenberg. That could be a good call.

  • 7 1-03-2011 at 1:50 pm

    Bradley said...

    I’d love to see Scott Pilgrim at the USC. Never gonna happen though.

  • 8 1-03-2011 at 3:34 pm

    sam said...

    If the critics loved scott pilgrim and those who saw it loved it, why can’t it be nominated?

  • 9 1-03-2011 at 4:06 pm

    Jeff said...

    Nick – The NSFC vote appears to be scheduled for Jan. 08.

  • 10 1-03-2011 at 4:42 pm

    Ben M. said...

    I have 9 of the same 10 WGA predictions, with Greenberg instead of Conviction (I also wouldn’t be shocked if Please Give shows up here among films not mentioned).

    I actually loved the Iron Man scripter nom and thought that was a cool choice. Sure, the franchise took a considerable drop down with IM2, but let’s not forget that critics and audiences both loved the first one.

  • 11 1-03-2011 at 4:46 pm

    Drew said...

    Star indicates predicted winners

    Original
    Animal Kingdom
    Black Swan
    The Fighter
    Inception
    The Kids Are All Right *

    Adapted
    127 Hours
    Rabbit Hole
    The Social Network*
    True Grit
    The Town

  • 12 1-03-2011 at 6:26 pm

    DylanS said...

    Kris: I was just looking at your new predictions and I’ve begun to notice a trend that whenever I remove a nominee from my list they turn up on yours. I had Danny Boyle for director on my list much longer than I thought I should have, and the second I removed him, he appeared on yours (which he’s now removed from). This time around, I finally let go of “Iron Man 2” for Sound editing, which I had been holding onto since the beginning, and long behold…

  • 13 1-03-2011 at 8:48 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    (Thanks to Kris and Jeff. Apologies for straying off topic.)