Golden Rule: The WGA Picks The Best Scripts of the Year

The Writer’s Guild of America consists of writers from all groups of entertainment, and annually picks the best work in TV, Film, New Media, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, Graphic Animation and Video Games. This year marks the 70th annual Writer’s Guild Awards. Today we’re going to take a look at what films have been nominated and how that may affect the Oscar race. You can check out all the nominees at the WGA’s website here.

There are three categories for film: Original, Adapted and Documentary. The Oscars recognize both original and adapted screenplays, with the writing branch of the Academy overlapping with those in the Writer’s Guild. In the past 5 years, 6-8 of the 10 nominees have been the same. Last year was a bit off as Moonlight was considered Original by the WGA and Adapted by the Academy. That being said, 5 of the past 10 years the winner has been the same in both categories for both awards. And 4 of the past 10 years at least one category has matched the Oscars (Ex. In 2010, Social Network took home Adapted Screenplay for both awards, but Inception took home the WGA and King’s Speech took home the Oscar for Original Screenplay.)

So all of that being said, here are the nominees for each category:

The Big Sick, Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele
I, Tonya, Written by Steven Rogers
Lady Bird, Written by Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro

Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory; Based on the Novel by André Aciman
The Disaster Artist, Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; Based on the Book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
Logan, Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold; Based on Characters from the X-Men Comic Books and Theatrical Motion Pictures
Molly’s Game, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Molly Bloom
Mudbound, Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees; Based on the Novel by Hillary Jordan

Betting on Zero, Written by Theodore Braun
Jane, Written by Brett Morgen
No Stone Unturned, Written by Alex Gibney
Oklahoma City, Written by Barak Goodman

First off, the Documentary group may get a boost by the Writers in the Academy if there’s any overlap in Nominees when it comes time to vote for a winner. As for Original and Adapted, it’s really hard to say what may or may not get nominated for an Oscar. Mudbound, Logan, and Molly’s Game all are facing uphill battles. Logan is tough because it’s a superhero film, and the Academy doesn’t take those too seriously. That being said, it’s much more than a superhero film; it’s a sendoff for a character who has been a cinematic stable for the past 17 years and a swan song for Hugh Jackman, and it’s less superhero and more western/existential crisis in its thematic elements. Mudbound is Netflix, and there’s still a stigma around “streaming site films.” However, it was co-written by director Dee Rees, and she may get this if it doesn’t look like she’ll get a director nod. Molly’s Game is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, and despite being considered one of the best writers in the entertainment industry, the Academy only nominated him twice: once for Moneyball and once for Social Network, which he took home the Oscar for. Molly’s Game hasn’t had the best word-of-mouth or traction so it’s hard to say where this lands.

Molly's Game

All of that being said, every other nominee is almost guaranteed, and it’s hard to think of any other film that could be nominated this year. The independent film Columbus has gotten some attention. The Florida Project has been talked about all year long as an Oscar-worthy film, but it’s a long shot in some ways because again, it’s a superhero movie. Wonder Woman, however, stands as good of a chance as Logan does for a nomination, as Wonder Woman is a very different beast from Logan. It’s a phenomenal film on so many levels, but the stigma around DC/WB is huge given the ups-and-downs of their shared cinematic universe. There is a slight question if Disaster Artist will still get any Oscar nominations, given the accusations against James Franco, but that may only affect his potential Best Actor nomination.

We’ll see how things play out in the coming weeks. The Writers Guild Awards take place on February 11, and the nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced this Tuesday, January 23rd. Keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler for updates on both, and our continued Oscar coverage leading up to the Oscar ceremony on March 4th at 8pm ET on ABC.



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