Predicting the 2011 WGA nominees

Posted by · 9:48 am · January 4th, 2012

Tomorrow the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announces its narrative feature and documentary nominees. Something to remember is that a number of this year’s Oscar-contending screenplays are ineligible for the award due to membership or signatory issues, meaning this is just an opportunity for other films that wouldn’t normally have much room to get into the awards conversation.

The list of ineligibilities seems longer than normal this year. Or maybe it just seemed like there were more Oscar possibilities on that list than normal. In any case, you can count films like “The Artist,” “Drive,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Shame,” “My Week with Marilyn,” “Rango,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and more out.

So what does that leave? Well, there are some options. But the ultimate list of nominees here won’t do a whole lot to clear up the Oscar race, both as a result of the above and the fact that the Academy’s writers branch can often stray from the expected path a bit.

Speaking of which, oh how I would love for the Academy to jump on Team “Margaret” (which was finally sent to the membership and surely speaks to writers). A guy can dream. We’ve seen some go-their-own-way picks in the past, such as with “In the Loop,” “In Bruges” and “The Barbarian Invasions.”

On the latter, foreign films rarely qualify for WGA but can show up with the Academy. That’s why the year’s best reviewed film, “A Separation,” shouldn’t be counted out of the Oscar race.

Getting back to the WGA, this could mark four out of four guild citations for “The Descendants,” “The Help,” and “Bridesmaids.” That will change course on Monday when the DGA speaks up, of course.

Alright, enough talk. Here’s what I’m predicting:

Best Adapted Screenplay:

“The Descendants”

“The Help”


“The Ides of March”


Best Original Screenplay:




“Midnight in Paris”

“Win Win”

Other possibilities for each include “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” “Super 8” and “Warrior.”

What are your picks?

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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