We'd argue that you couldn't have written a better drama, but, well, this is one group that actually could.
The Writers Guild of America today unveiled their list of year-end nominees, and while the now expected batch of movie titles were read out--The Social Network, Black Swan, 127 Hours, Inception, The Fighter and The Town (you go with your comeback, Ben Affleck!)--just as many expected movies, and their writers, were left in the lurch.
Completely absent from the list of kudos-receivers were the team behind awards-magnet The King's Speech, for example. The writers of the critically beloved Winter's Bone and Blue Valentine were equally personae non grata to the guild. And Toy Story 3, with its perfect mix of critical and box-office success, which already scored a seat at the grown-ups' table from the Producers Guild this morning, was also completely snubbed.
So what gives?
Simply this: They never had a chance of making it in the first place. Those films--awards season front-runners, all--were the most high-profile flicks to be deemed ineligible for the Writers Guild Awards earlier on this year. Why? Because in order to be eligible for a nomination, the films must have been produced in accordance with the WGA's apparently stringent collective bargaining agreement. And those frontrunners weren't.
Which is unfortunate, but not without precedent: Last year, An Education, Inglourious Basterds, A Single Man and District 9 were shut out due to the same stringent guidelines (but went on to score Oscar nods in the same categories). Ultimately, the WGA isn't honoring the best movies of the year, it's honoring the best movies of the year as made by eligible WGA members.
Even those who aren't expecting it.
Last month, The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin, during an awards season roundtable with the Hollywood Reporter, insisted that he would be shocked if his name popped up at the WGA nominations, saying the guild took too much issue with his public condemnation of the writers' strike to give him any honors whatsoever.
Guess talent can trump politics sometimes.
And for all the high-profile snubs, there are plenty of happy writers today. Like Ben Affleck, who scored an Adapted Screenplay nomination for cowriting The Town.
It'll vie for the prize against The Social Network, 127 Hours, True Grit and surprise nominee I Love You Phillip Morris (something had to benefit from the sudden gap--congrats!).
As for the race for Best Original Screenplay, the names should once again sound like a familiar awards show roundup, as Black Swan, Inception, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right and Please Give compete for the top prize.
The 2011 Writers Guild Awards will be handed out Feb. 5 in ceremonies to be held simultaneously in Los Angeles and New York. Here's the complete list of nominees:
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Black Swan, screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin; story by Andres Heinz The Fighter, screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson; story by Keith Dorrington and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson Inception, written by Christopher Nolan The Kids Are All Right, written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg Please Give, written by Nicole Holofcener
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY 127 Hours, screenplay by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy; based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston I Love You Phillip Morris, written by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra; based on the book by Steven McVicker The Social Network, screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich The Town, screenplay by Peter Craig and Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard; based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan True Grit, screenplay by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen; based on the novel by Charles Portis
DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY Enemies of the People, written, directed, filmed and produced by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath Freedom Riders, written, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson Gasland, written and directed by Josh Fox Inside Job, produced, written and directed by Charles Ferguson; cowritten by Chad Beck and Adam Bolt The Two Escobars, written by Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?, written and directed by John Scheinfeld