WGA Awards 2013: From The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Looper to Lincoln and The Master
The WGA Awards 2013 nominations were announced earlier today. Expect the Academy Awards 2013 nominations in the writing categories to be – at least – somewhat different, for reasons explained below. But first, here are the WGA Awards 2013 nominees: [Photo: Emma Watson The Perks of Being a Wallflower.]
Best Original Screenplay: John Gatins for Robert Zemeckis' Flight; Rian Johnson for Looper, which he also directed; Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master, which he also directed; Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom, which Anderson also directed; Mark Boal for Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio for Ben Affleck's Argo; David Magee for Ang Lee's Life of Pi; Tony Kushner for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln; Stephen Chbosky for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which he also directed; David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, which he also directed.
Best Documentary Screenplay: The Central Park Five, Sarah Burns and David McMahon and Ken Burns; The Invisible War, Kirby Dick; Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Alex Gibney; Searching for Sugar Man, Malik Bendejelloul; We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, Brian Knappenberger; West of Memphis, Amy Berg & Billy McMillin.
WGA Awards 2013 vs. Academy Awards 2013
One key reason for the inevitable discrepancies between the WGA and the Oscar nominees is that, unlike the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America is quite strict on which movies are eligible for its awards. Those had to be "exhibited theatrically for at least one week in Los Angeles during 2012 and [...] written under the WGA's Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild, or the New Zealand Writers Guild."
That takes immediate care of Michael Haneke's Amour, Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone, and Leos Carax's Holy Motors. In fact, according to TheWrap's Steve Pond, this year 58 original and 39 adapted screenplays qualified for the WGA Awards vs. 165 and 108, respectively, for the Academy Awards.
Among the English-language movies ineligible (or not submitted) for the WGA Awards were strong Oscar contenders such as Tom Hooper's all-star musical Les Misérables, Benh Zeitlin's indie Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quentin Tarantino's violent and slur-laced Django Unchained, and John Madden's India-set ensemble piece The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
In addition to Ava DuVeray's indie Middle of Nowhere, Martin McDonagh's all-star comedy Seven Psychopaths, David Cronenberg's Robert Pattinson star vehicle Cosmopolis, Ronald Harwood's Dustin Hoffman-directed Quartet, and Juan Antonio Bayona's Spanish-made tsunami drama The Impossible.
Eligible screenplays bypassed by the WGA Awards 2013
Among the eligible screenplays bypassed by WGA Awards 2013 voters were those for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Gary Ross' The Hunger Games, Nicholas Jarecki's Arbitrage, David Ayer's End of Watch, Sam Mendes' Skyfall, Ira Sachs' Keep the Lights On, Woody Allen's To Rome with Love, and Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man.
Also: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock, Richard Linklater's Bernie, Judd Apatow's This Is 40, Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy, Walter Salles' film version of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Ben Lewin's The Sessions, Tom Tykwer, and Andy and Lana Wachowski's Cloud Atlas, and Christopher McQuarrie's thriller and Tom Cruise star vehicle Jack Reacher.
More on the WGA Awards vs. the Academy Awards
Last year, two WGA Award nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Help) and three Best Original Screenplay nominees (50/50, Win Win, Young Adult) failed to be shortlisted by the Academy. In their place, the Oscar shortlist featured Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the WGA-eligible The Ides of March in the Best Adapted Screenplay category; Margin Call, A Separation, and The Artist in the Best Original Screenplay category.
Also worth noting when discussing the differences between the WGA and the Academy's choices is the membership of each organization. Whereas the Writers Guild of America, West, has close to 20,000 members, the Academy has only 350-400 Writers Branch members – an "elite" among screenwriters. And finally, let's not forget the strong influence of the Academy's preferential voting system discussed in this PGA Awards 2013 piece.
The WGA Awards 2013 winners will be announced on February 17, at bicoastal ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles.
Emma Watson The Perks of Being a Wallflower photo: Summit Entertainment.