'Mean Girls' quotes earn Lindsay Lohan movie surprising WGA Award nomination
The inclusion of Tina Fey's Mean Girls screenplay is the big surprise among the 2005 Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award nominations. After all, despite plenty of Mean Girls quotes floating about, the Mark Waters-directed hit comedy has been wholly ignored this awards season. (More on the many memorable Mean Girls quotes a few paragraphs down.)
The other nominees in the WGA Awards' Theatrical Films categories are all U.S. critics' faves to some extent or other, including The Aviator, Sideways, and Million Dollar Baby. (Update: See further below a partial list of this year's WGA Award winners and nominees.)
WGA Awards eligibility
As a result of the WGA's guild-oriented eligibility rules, non-English-language releases are almost invariably disqualified.
One exception is this year's multinational, Spanish-language nominee The Motorcycle Diaries, which was deemed eligible because the Walter Salles-directed, partly U.S.-funded road movie/political drama was produced according to guild regulations.
On the other hand, certain American films made by companies not affiliated with the Writers Guild were ineligible for the WGA Awards. Case in point is Marc Forster's Miramax-distributed Finding Neverland, which was made outside the Guild's current labor regulations. The most notorious such exclusion is probably that of another Miramax-distributed movie: Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, which was left off the 1994 WGA Awards' longlist.
Non-WGA Award contenders still in the running for the Academy Awards
Although ineligible for the WGA Awards, well-regarded non-English-language films such as The Sea Inside, Bad Education, and A Very Long Engagement remain potential Academy Award contenders, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a different set of eligibility rules.
In early 2004, for instance, the French-language The Barbarian Invasions and the Portuguese-language City of God were left off the WGA Awards' list; yet both went on to receive Oscar nominations.
The previous year, the same off/on thing happened with the Spanish-language titles Y Tu Mamá También and Talk to Her. The latter would earn screenwriter-director Pedro Almodóvar the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
Also absent from the 2003 WGA Awards list was Roman Polanski's English-language The Pianist, a mostly European production that ultimately received the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.
And in 2001, the French-made, WGA Award-bypassed Amelie was listed as one of the Academy Award nominees for Best Original Screenplay.
WGA Awards vs. animated films + iffy 'Mean Girls'
Something else: bizarrely, animated films are not allowed to compete for the WGA Awards. The Academy has no such rule.
Shrek (2001) and Finding Nemo (2003) are two recent animated features that received Oscar nominations in the writing categories. This year, the same will probably happen with Brad Bird's The Incredibles.
Somewhat ironically, WGA Award nominee Mean Girls' Oscar chances are iffy.
'Mean Girls' quotes
Partially based on Rosalind Wiseman's 2002 nonfiction self-help book Queen Bees and Wannabes, Mean Girls is set in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Evanston, where a teenager (Lindsay Lohan), recently returned to the U.S. after years in Africa, is enrolled at the local public high school.
There she meets the members of the fearsome Plastics clique: a rich bitch (Rachel McAdams), her sycophantic pal (Lacey Chabert), and their dimwitted blonde friend (Amanda Seyfried). Not to mention the Plastics' mortal goth enemy (Lizzy Caplan), a flamboyant gay stereotype (Daniel Franzese), and a calculus teacher who may or may not be a drug dealer (Tina Fey).
Among the popularized Mean Girls quotes are:
- Rachel McAdams' Regina asserting, “I can't go to Taco Bell, I'm on an all-carb diet.”
- Amanda Seyfried's Karen marveling, “It's like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can tell when it's gonna rain.”
- Daniel Franzece's Damian confiding, “My grandma takes her wig off when she's drunk.”
- Lacey Chabert's Gretchen exclaiming, “Regina, you're wearing sweatpants. It's Monday. … You can't sit with us!”
- Also Gretchen, faux lamenting, “I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me. But I can't help it that I'm popular.”
- Lindsay Lohan's Cady philosophizing, “In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up and beg for candy. But in Girl World, Halloween is the one day of the year a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
See below a partial list of the 2005 WGA Award winners (announced on Feb. 19) and nominees.
WGA Awards: Winners & nominations
Best Original Screenplay
The Aviator - John Logan.
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Charlie Kaufman; story by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry & Pierre Bismuth.
Garden State - Zach Braff.
Hotel Rwanda - Keir Pearson & Terry George.
Kinsey - Bill Condon.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Sunset - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; story by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan.
The Motorcycle Diaries - José Rivera.
Mean Girls - Tina Fey.
Million Dollar Baby - Paul Haggis.
* Sideways - Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor.
Best Teleplay - Longform Original
Redemption - J.T. Allen.
* Something the Lord Made - Peter Silverman & Robert Caswell.
Spinning Boris - Yuri Zeltser & Cary Bickley.
Best Teleplay - Longform Adapted
Cavedweller - Anne Meredith.
The Wool Cap - William H. Macy & Steven Schachter.
* Angels in America - Tony Kushner.
Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement: David Mamet.
Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' among ASC Award nominees
In other awards season news, Mean Girls failed to receive an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award nomination, but Mel Gibson's controversial sleeper hit The Passion of the Christ is a contender despite right-wingers' hand-wringing and hair-pulling about “Liberal” Hollywood's purported anti-Christian bias.
The film's cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel, has already won an ASC Award for a Mel Gibson effort, The Patriot (2000), in addition to having been nominated for Fly Away Home (1996).
Deschanel received Academy Award nominations for both films, as well as for The Right Stuff (1983) and The Natural (1984). Strangely, he was bypassed for The Black Stallion (1979), hailed in some quarters as one of the most visually striking movies ever made.
More 2005 ASC Award nominees
Besides Caleb Deschanel, here are this year's other ASC Award feature film nominees:
- Robert Richardson for The Aviator. His previous ASC Award nominations were for the Oliver Stone hits Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and JFK (1991), plus A Few Good Men (1992), the Stone flop Heaven & Earth (1993), The Horse Whisperer (1998), and Snow Falling on Cedars (1999). He won an Oscar for JFK, and was nominated for Platoon (1986), Born on the Fourth of July, and Snow Falling on Cedars.
- Bruno Delbonnel for A Very Long Engagement. He was an ASC and Oscar nominee for another Jean-Pierre Jeunet international hit, Amelie (2001).
- Pawel Edelman for Ray. He was an ASC and Oscar nominee for The Pianist (2002).
- Dion Beebe & Paul Cameron for Collateral. Both are first-time contenders.
Somewhat surprisingly, two North American critics' favorites, Christopher Doyle and Zhao Xiaoding, were bypassed for their work on, respectively, Hero and House of Flying Daggers – both Zhang Yimou-directed period Chinese epics. Finding Neverland cinematographer Roberto Schaefer was another notable ASC Award absentee.
Last year's ASC Award winner was John Schwartzman for Seabiscuit. The Best Cinematography Oscar, however, went to ASC Award nominee Russell Boyd for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
See below a partial list of the 2005 ASC Award winners (announced on Feb. 13) and nominees.
ASC Awards: Winners & nominations
The Aviator - Robert Richardson.
Collateral - Dion Beebe & Paul Cameron.
* A Very Long Engagement - Bruno Delbonnel.
The Passion of the Christ - Caleb Deschanel.
Ray - Pawel Edelman.
Movies of the Week / Miniseries / Pilot for Broadcast TV
* Homeland Security - Jonathan Freeman.
Judas - Michael Goi.
Lost (pilot episode) - Larry Fong.
Medical Investigation (pilot episode) - J. Clark Mathis.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Kramer Morgenthau.
Movies of the Week / Miniseries / Pilot for Basic or Pay TV
Salem's Lot - Ben Nott.
Frankenstein (pilot episode) - Alan Caso.
* Iron Jawed Angels - Robbie Greenberg.
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers - Peter Levy.
Spartacus - Kees Van Oostrum.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Fred J. Koenekamp.
International Award: Tonino Delli Colli.
Board of the Governors Award: Gilbert Cates.
'The Aviator': Golden Globes choose Howard Hughes biopic
Martin Scorsese's big & boisterous Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator was the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's top dramatic motion picture of 2004. Additionally, The Aviator earned Golden Globes for star Leonardo DiCaprio and composer Howard Shore.
This awards season, some U.S. critics' groups have chosen Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby as the year's Best Picture while selecting Martin Scorsese as Best Director for The Aviator. The HFPA did it the other way around. Besides, Eastwood's boxing drama earned Hilary Swank the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama Golden Globe.
Another critical fave, Alexander Payne's road movie Sideways, was the Golden Globes' Best Picture - Musical or Comedy while the Best Foreign Language Film was Alejandro Amenábar's euthanasia drama The Sea Inside.
Golden Globes: Winners & nominations
Best Picture - Drama
* The Aviator.
Million Dollar Baby.
Best Picture - Musical or Comedy
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
The Phantom of the Opera.
Best Foreign Language Film
The Chorus / Les Choristes (France).
The Motorcycle Diaries / Diarios de motocicleta (Brazil / Argentina / U.S.).
A Very Long Engagement / Un long dimanche de fiançailles / (France).
* The Sea Inside / Mar adentro (Spain / France / Italy).
House of Flying Daggers / Shi mian mai fu (China / Hong Kong).
Best Actor - Drama
Javier Bardem, The Sea Inside.
Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland.
* Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator.
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda.
Liam Neeson, Kinsey.
Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
* Annette Bening, Being Julia.
Ashley Judd, De-Lovely.
Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera.
Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Best Actor - Musical or Comedy
Jim Carrey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
* Jamie Foxx, Ray.
Paul Giamatti, Sideways.
Kevin Kline, De-Lovely.
Kevin Spacey, Beyond the Sea.
Best Supporting Actor
David Carradine, Kill Bill: Vol. 2.
Thomas Haden Church, Sideways.
Jamie Foxx, Collateral.
Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby.
* Clive Owen, Closer.
* Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby.
Marc Forster, Finding Neverland.
Mike Nichols, Closer.
Alexander Payne, Sideways.
Martin Scorsese, The Aviator.
The Aviator - John Logan.
Closer - Patrick Marber.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Charlie Kaufman.
Finding Neverland - David Magee.
* Sideways - Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor.
Best Original Score
* The Aviator - Howard Shore.
Finding Neverland - Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.
Million Dollar Baby - Clint Eastwood.
Sideways - Rolfe Kent.
Spanglish - Hans Zimmer.
Best Original Song
“Accidentally in Love” - Shrek 2 - Adam Duritz, Dan Vickery, David Immergluck, Matthew Malley, David Bryson.
“Believe” - The Polar Express - Glen Ballard, Alan Silvestri.
“Learn to Be Lonely” - The Phantom of the Opera - Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart.
“Million Voices” - Hotel Rwanda - Wyclef Jean, Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis, Andrea Guerra.
* “Old Habits Die Hard” - Alfie - Mick Jagger, David A. Stewart.
Cecil B. DeMille Award
Best Television Series - Drama
Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
* Desperate Housewives.
Sex and the City.
Will & Grace.
Best Miniseries or Movie Made for Television
Iron Jawed Angels.
* The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
The Lion in Winter.
Something the Lord Made.
Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Made for Television
* Glenn Close, The Lion in Winter.
Blythe Danner, Back When We Were Grownups.
Julianna Margulies, The Grid.
Miranda Richardson, The Lost Prince.
Hilary Swank, Iron Jawed Angels.
Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Made for Television
Mos Def, Something the Lord Made.
Jamie Foxx, Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story.
William H. Macy, The Wool Cap.
* Geoffrey Rush, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Patrick Stewart, The Lion in Winter.
Best Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
* Jason Bateman, Arrested Development.
Zach Braff, Scrubs.
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Matt LeBlanc, Joey.
Tony Shalhoub, Monk.
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men.
Best Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives.
* Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives.
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives.
Debra Messing, Will & Grace.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City.
Best Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Michael Chiklis, The Shield.
Denis Leary, Rescue Me.
Julian McMahon, Nip/Tuck.
James Spader, Boston Legal.
* Ian McShane, Deadwood.
Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Edie Falco, The Sopranos.
Jennifer Garner, Alias.
* Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Christine Lahti, Jack & Bobby.
Joely Richardson, Nip/Tuck.
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Movie Made for Television
Sean Hayes, Will & Grace.
Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos.
Jeremy Piven, Entourage.
Oliver Platt, Huff.
* William Shatner, Boston Legal.
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Movie Made for Television
Drea de Matteo, The Sopranos.
* Anjelica Huston, Iron Jawed Angels.
Nicolette Sheridan, Desperate Housewives.
Charlize Theron, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Emily Watson, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Writers Guild of America Awards website.
American Society of Cinematographers website.
Hollywood Foreign Press Association website.
Lacey Chabert, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lindsay Lohan Mean Girls images: Paramount Pictures.
Image of Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ and Luca Lionello as Judas in The Passion of the Christ: Newmarket Films.
Image of Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in The Aviator: Miramax Films.