WGA awards ‘Inception,’ ‘Social Network’

Posted by · 7:18 pm · February 5th, 2011

I’ve been a bit tied up this afternoon and haven’t gotten to this yet, but indeed, the WGA has awarded “Inception” and “The Social Network” with its screenplay honors this year.  Color me a little surprised by the original screenplay win for Christopher Nolan, but Aaron Sorkin had a pretty clear ride to this win, I think.

No, I don’t think Nolan’s win means anything for Oscar.  Seidler has that in the bag and would have had this if the work was eligible, BUT, I’m very happy for Nolan.  It’s a much better ending than if the indie had swooped in for some love, as most were expecting.  And I still think said indie is the one in Seidler’s rear view.  But for now, I raise a glass to ingenuity through spectacle.

The Art Directors Guild awards are also tonight, but I have to run out.  So I imagine you’ll come across the news at some point.  No guild awards next weekend, but the following week will bring the CAS, ACE and ASC.  It’s almost over.




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36 responses so far

  • 1 2-05-2011 at 7:23 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I’m going to keep predicting Seidler to win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nolan pulls a Tarantino/Kaufman and sheer originality in concept and execution trump the front-runner. However unlikely, it would be awesome.

  • 2 2-05-2011 at 7:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It would be awesome, but we all knew Tarantino/Kaufman were going to win, so…

  • 3 2-05-2011 at 7:27 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    True. We’ll see. I think he’s lurking, but you’re ultimately right, Seidler has it in the bag. A shame, but Nolan will get his due one day, and very hopefully on his terms, not the Academy’s. :)

  • 4 2-05-2011 at 7:34 pm

    Hans said...

    Is this the first piece of competitive hardware that Nolan has actually won?

  • 5 2-05-2011 at 7:36 pm

    Jamian Bailey said...

    I think your right Kris that TKS will probably win, but I’m hesitant to say it has it in the bag. Stranger things have happened. Remember last year Reitman and Turner looked like big locks. They pretty much swept the critic awards but loss to Geoffrey Fletcher. I mean Nolan has won his share of critics awards along with Seidler. I also think Nolan has more of a pedigree than Seidler does. I mean if oscar voters rally behind Nolan because of the director snub Nolan could easily win the OScar.

  • 6 2-05-2011 at 7:37 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Hans, he won some critics awards, but this is his first industry award. :)

    He was not eligible for “Memento”, though WGA had it in their top 101 or 100 scripts.

  • 7 2-05-2011 at 7:42 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I will say that this shows that the writers really respect him. Ironic that he’s only been nominated by the writers branch of the Academy for the two screenplays he wrote alone, when most would agree his best scripts are those he’s written with Jonah. But I’m very excited that he won his first WGA award for Inception, a worthy accomplishment. I’ll stick by him as the potential upset victor on Oscar night, he might just gain some heat, since, as far as I can tell, the real story of The King’s Speech so far has been Colin Firth, but we’ll see. I think at the very least, it’s become a competitive category, WGA ineligibilities aside.

  • 8 2-05-2011 at 7:45 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    “Remember last year Reitman and Turner looked like big locks. They pretty much swept the critic awards but loss to Geoffrey Fletcher. I mean Nolan has won his share of critics awards along with Seidler. I also think Nolan has more of a pedigree than Seidler does. I mean if oscar voters rally behind Nolan because of the director snub Nolan could easily win the OScar.”

    Yeah but, like, TKS has twelve nominations and at this point it even looks like Tom Hooper’s going to beat Fincher. TKS is poised for a sweep of sorts and I don’t think it’s going to miss the screenplay category.

  • 9 2-05-2011 at 7:47 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “It’s a much better ending than if the indie had swooped in for some love…”

    You mean just from your own standpoint, or for other reasons? Personally, I still have a problem with rewarding Inception for its writing, of all things.

  • 10 2-05-2011 at 7:48 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Guy: It’s a breath of fresh air to see something other than a quirky indie win in that category. Very rare that grand scale action films are recognized for their writing.

  • 11 2-05-2011 at 7:55 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Sigh. Two films where the screenplays are undoubtedly the worst things about them.

  • 12 2-05-2011 at 7:55 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Kevin: I’m not denying the atypical nature of the choice. But for me, Inception’s problems stem from its clumsily expository script — I think it’s a perverse area to give the film its big reward of the season.

  • 13 2-05-2011 at 8:01 pm

    PaulH said...

    The question is, why did so many people think Kids are All Right was going to pull an eyepopping upset here. Inception cleaned their clocks with the critics circle awards (something like 13-2 in original screenplay). NYFCC looking real foolish right about now. This was JUSTICE. And hopefully the fuddy-duddy-old fogeys who lap up Masterpiece Theater-esque stuff like King’s Speech will see that Nolan’s story will stand the test of time. Seidler’s is just another Brit period piece. Nothing more or less.

  • 14 2-05-2011 at 8:02 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Guy: I know what you’re saying. I can’t speak for Kris, but I think the breath of fresh air was all he was getting at in his remark about it beating The Kids Are All Right. Nothing more.

  • 15 2-05-2011 at 8:06 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    I agree the script for Inception isn’t its strongest aspect, but compared to The King’s Speech, which doesn’t know what the hell it wants to do for the entire middle section, Inception is far more deserving.

    If I had it my way, The Fighter or Another Year would win, but we know that’s not going to happen.

  • 16 2-05-2011 at 8:17 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***Sigh. Two films where the screenplays are undoubtedly the worst things about them.***

    Right. Undoubtedly.

    Sigh.

  • 17 2-05-2011 at 8:46 pm

    Andrej said...

    Hoorays for Inception! ☺ Here’s hoping for an awesome and super unlikely spoiler at the Oscars. I still want Nolan to get a proper Best Director nod soon, though.

    Awesome for Sorkin as well. Despite these awards are sans-TKS, maybe these victories will help TSN regain a bit of terrain.

  • 18 2-05-2011 at 8:48 pm

    Chris138 said...

    Good for Nolan. He’s been my alternative win for the original screenplay category, similar to Geoffrey Fletcher winning last year as mentioned above. I doubt it will happen, but I wouldn’t mind if it does.

  • 19 2-05-2011 at 9:11 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    That’s one way for the WGA to receive major post-awards press coverage.

  • 20 2-05-2011 at 10:10 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    Agreeing with Chad on “Inception,” there. I loved how TSN’s screenplay denied itself the relatively easy path of realism, though.

  • 21 2-05-2011 at 10:16 pm

    Cordy said...

    I will say that I watched Inception tonight with my parents and I understand how much of an accomplishment it really was.

    My mom noticed the direction (never happens. she loved the hallway sequences) and was going nuts over the whole concept of the movie and teh dream levels. My Dad started out asking questions constantly but after the exposition he was just loving the movie.

    I had to convince them they would enjoy the movie and they both loved it. I have my problems with the screenplay, but Nolan did something here that has to be recognized. he crafted a screenplay/story that anyone who isnt watching with as critical an eye as we all do can enjoy. I appreciate it more after seeing more reactions in person, and think it does deserve to be recognized, even if it’s writing isn’t the best thign about it.

  • 22 2-05-2011 at 10:29 pm

    darklayers said...

    Someone might have mentioned this already, but “Inception,” “Black Swan” and “The King’s Speech” won Art Direction Guild prizes for fantasy, contemporary, and period respectively. I think that’s mostly right.

  • 23 2-05-2011 at 10:57 pm

    Rashad said...

    Guy, there isn’t that much exposition. Also exposition is an inherent part of the heist genre. It is the movie. Do people get upset at Ocean’s 11 because of exposition?

  • 24 2-05-2011 at 11:02 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Regardless of the quantity of exposition in it, it all flows organically from the script and performances that it works. Exposition that works and feels organic is rare, but that’s exactly what is in Inception.

  • 25 2-05-2011 at 11:16 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    22, 23–I mostly agree. I didn’t get bored or feel like the exposition was excessive or unnecessary–I felt like it got . I think the podcast at AV Club captured this. For the paradigm Nolan set up, you did need some information. I felt that it was done in a pretty engaging manner, but I have a feeling Guy and Rashad, Kevin, and I will have to agree to disagree.

  • 26 2-05-2011 at 11:24 pm

    red_wine said...

    “why did so many people think Kids are All Right was going to pull an eyepopping upset here. Inception cleaned their clocks with the critics circle awards (something like 13-2 in original screenplay). NYFCC looking real foolish right about now.”

    I think people trusted in the taste of the WGA. I really truly thought The Kids had this in the bag. Kudos to the NYFCC to be the only ones to reward that superb script. But I am not surprised.

    This is one of the most unfortunate industry awards. People created a storm over Hooper winning DGA? How about throwing a screenplay award down the gutter by giving it to Inception of all things? Yuck! What a terrible choice. Though The Kids is my choice out of the Oscar nominees too, The King’s Speech is infinitely better written than Inception.

  • 27 2-05-2011 at 11:29 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    I personally disliked “The Kids are All Right,” and I felt the affair wasn’t a surprising or exciting direction to go in.

  • 28 2-05-2011 at 11:47 pm

    Marc R. said...

    I know a lot of us like to use strong, colorful adjectives when we’re passionate about something (who doesn’t, it’s fun), but to call The King’s Speech “infinitely better written” than Inception is a bit of a stretch. Now, comparing Another Year to Inception, that might be a different story

  • 29 2-06-2011 at 12:21 am

    Rashad said...

    “I felt the affair wasn’t a surprising or exciting direction to go in.”

    Not too mention it was with a man. This just made the ending where she tells Ruffalo “I’m gay!” all the more silly.

    That movie is full of phony people

  • 30 2-06-2011 at 3:42 am

    Graysmith said...

    I don’t get the surprise about Inception winning this. THR has this headline: “Inception Upsets WGA with Original Screenplay Win”, and Kris above seems surprised. And all I can think of was that personally it just seemed like a complete no-brainer that Nolan would win this. I didn’t even need to give it much serious thought making the predictions, I didn’t see any of the other nominees as much of any competition.

    And I don’t mean that as just some bragging “called it” crap, I’m genuinely surprised so many seemed to think Inception was that much of an underdog.

  • 31 2-06-2011 at 3:57 am

    geha714 said...

    Congratulations to Christopher Nolan and Aaron Sorkin for their victories. I join the group that want a Nolan upset but know it won’t happen.

  • 32 2-06-2011 at 8:43 am

    trent said...

    Why is NYFCC looking “real foolish” for giving their screenplay award to “Kids”? Was it their job to act as Oscar/WGA prognosticators? It’s not like they gave the prize to “Leap Year” or “The Last Airbender.” They are one critics’ group that gave an award to a well-regarded, screenplay-oriented indie film. I just don’t see how that can possibly be seen as “foolish.”

  • 33 2-06-2011 at 1:47 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Kids has an overrated screenplay, in my opinion. Parts of the film irked me, and I still am not wild about the treatment that the Ruffalo character got. The film’s strongsuit, to me, is the acting, and almost the acting, solely.

    Inception’s screenplay – while expository – is simply a ‘wow’. It may not be perfect. And it is challenging. But no other movie this year has had such original ideas/concepts.

  • 34 2-06-2011 at 4:03 pm

    Chris G. said...

    My only problem with the Inception script and the exposition of it is at the point where Arthur says “Paradox” after pushing the guard down the stairs.

    Obviously, it’s meant to show that Arthur realizes in that moment (similar to like how you can realize that you’re dreaming) that the stairs were a paradox, and because of this he could push the guard down where he wasn’t aware he could before.

    If the line “Paradox” would’ve come at the same time as the visual of the paradox took place instead of after he’d pushed the guard down, it wouldn’t have come off as exposition, but more as to show how you can force yourself to realize certain things in dreams in order to change the dream.

    Other than that, I think the exposition is fine. Even the “Who’s dream are we going into?” line, since it IS confusing, even to the characters, especially Ariadne being the new kid on the block.

    Hell, damn near every science fiction/fantasy film that has characters enter an alternate reality needs the exposition since, well, the characters would be lost too!

    And considering that it’s a heist movie too I don’t think it’s too much.

    Wether it deserves to win over King’s Speech I can’t say, as that sadly won’t premiere in Denmark for another month or so.

  • 35 2-06-2011 at 6:24 pm

    Chris138 said...

    I agree, the “paradox” scene that Chris G is talking about always bothered me too and came off as a bit corny, but otherwise I really wasn’t bothered by the other exposition in the script much at all.

  • 36 2-07-2011 at 8:39 am

    Maxim said...

    Why is the Inception being characterized as a Heist film by users here? Rashid, I understand what you are getting at but I think you’re mistaken – Inception has more to do with Con films then with ones involving Heists. Yes, the characters need to infiltrate a certain place but they are still putting on a con and the later scenes of the films reflect that more, I think.

    That’s not to say that con films don’t require exposition.