WGA Awards Nominations Announced

HAMMOND: WGA Nominations Exclude ‘The Artist’ But Don’t Offer Many Surprises

Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen during 2011. Winners will be honored at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, February 19, 2012, during simultaneous ceremonies in Hollywood and New York.


50/50, Written by Will Reiser; Summit Entertainment

Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig; Universal Studios

Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics

Win Win, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy; Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni; Fox Searchlight

Young Adult, Written by Diablo Cody; Paramount Pictures


The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemming; Fox Searchlight

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian; Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, originally published by Norstedts; Columbia Pictures

The Help, Screenplay by Tate Taylor; Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett; DreamWorks Pictures

Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan; Based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; Paramount Pictures

Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin; Based on the book by Michael Lewis; Columbia Pictures


Better This World, Written by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega; Loteria Films

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Written by Marshall Curry and Matthew Hamachek; Oscilloscope Pictures

Nostalgia for the Light, Written by Patricio Guzmán; Icarus Films

Pina, Screenplay by Wim Wenders; Sundance Selects

Position Among the Stars, Script by Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich, Leonard Retel Helmrich; HBO Films

Senna, Written by Manish Pandey; Producers Distribution Agency

Feature films eligible for a Writers Guild Award were exhibited theatrically for at least one week in Los Angeles during 2011 and were written under the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Australian Writers Guild, Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild or the New Zealand Writers Guild. Theatrical screenplays produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild must have been submitted for WGA awards consideration.

Documentaries eligible for a Writers Guild Award featured an onscreen writing credit and were exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for one week during 2011. Credited documentary writers were required to join the WGAW’s Nonfiction Writers Caucus or the WGAE’s Nonfiction Writers Caucus to be considered, but scripts need not have been written under WGA jurisdiction for consideration.

The 2012 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012, simultaneously at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City. For more information about the 2012 Writers Guild Awards, please visit http://www.wga.org or http://www.wgaeast.org.

  1. Really? Young Adult?!
    I think Charlize and Patton did a fantastic job, but the story seriously ends on a flat note. And I’m not alone in this opinion. The fact that the marketing was confusing (is it a comedy, no its darkness turns it in to a drama), is not the writer’s fault. And of course, the witty dialogue helps. But the plot goes nowhere. There’s no payoff in the end. Diablo is a fine writer, but this one falls short of a nomination for me. Agreed?

    1. I actually thought the way it ended was rather ballsy and I’m sure it’s the reason it isn’t rolling in the dough at the box office. We don’t get the “typical” Hollywood character arc in Mavis Gary. She’s no different at the end than she is at the film’s start — in fact, one could make an argument that she’s even more of a despicable character.

      Whether it deserves a Writer’s Guild nomination — who knows? But I did enjoy the flick quite a bit.

    2. I agree with Jeff. It’s very ballsy and quite true to life… not every heartless, man-stealing ex-prom queen learns the lessons of life that would give us the traditional ‘feel good’ ending. Kudos to them for breaking the mold and thinking outside the box. I thought the final kitchen scene was written phenomenally. Not sure whether it deserves a nomination, but I am glad someone took a chance on a film that isn’t cookie cutter.

  2. I thought the Young Adult script was strong for about five pages and then just completely fell apart. Yes, there was some witty dialogue and some nice observational moments, but overall it felt contrived and silly and more like an episode of television than a feature film.
    A big ugh to my guild on this one.

  3. disagreed. “Young Adult” took a brave and unique approach to a deep topic and Cody’s script here was, at least for me, far stronger and more complex than her over-rewarded “Juno.”

  4. Someone clue me in about Senna’s screenplay. Isn’t it all footage and talking head clips? It’s a brilliant doc, but what’s the screenplay?

    1. def my favorite film of the year; amazingly written. sub that in for win win or diablo’s latest traindreck.

  5. Regarding the comments on Young Adult: true, it’s probably more realistic that the character didn’t have an arc, didn’t change. But it begs the question, then, “why am I on this ride with her?”

  6. Yeah,seriously, how does Hossein not get nominated for DRIVE? Sure there was barely any dialogue, but its because the dialogue you did have was so effective!

  7. I thought EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE was a shoe in. Amazing screenplay!! Can’t believe the WGA got it wrong.

    1. Maybe because it was extremely dull and incredibly boring. How they managed to do that with a 9/11 drama is beyond me, but I didn’t care about the kid or his journey and couldn’t wait for it to be over.

  8. It’s mentioned in another post, but the WGA only nominates movies produced to guild specifications, so movies like DRIVE and THE ARTIST can’t qualify. They’re the only major guild with this rule.

    Also, YOUNG ADULT sucks. Being different is too-often equated with being good. Hey Diablo, good for you for subverting some perceived issue in filmmaking. But hey, it works for a reason.

    Can’t agree with CONTAGION. It was like 80% of a good movie – not sure what I wanted to be different, but it felt like it could have been that small amount better.

  9. It’s important to remember the WGA nominates any film that sends them a DVD. Hint to “Moneyball”: Send it out now and you might win (wink, wink).

  10. DRIVE wasn’t eligible for a WGA nomination. Not sure if it’s because Hossein Amini is a Brit… or because the financing came from abroad… but regardless it wasn’t on the ballot of screenplays eligible for nomination.

  11. Young Adult is pretentious garbage.
    And the daring ending renders the film pointless.
    Cheap nihilism with an occassional witty line should not merit industry recognition.

  12. Being a produced screenwriter, with several “hit” movies to my credit, today I am ashamed to say I am a member of the Writer’s Guild. YOUNG ADULT and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS are two of the most uninspired, over-rated films I have ever seen. What are you guild members thinking? A vaguely unfocussed indictment of narcissism and a shallow meander through historical Paris is your idea of good writing? Shame on those of you who voted for these two films.

    1. I’m so with you on that Michael! Personally, I think it’s the “old guard” going to the “old reliable”. And while Diablo Cody is young, she is wildly (if undeservedly) talked about often and is an easy pick (if only for hearing the name a lot).

  13. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Drive was not eligible for a nomination. The WGA has pretty steep eligibility requirements compared to other awards groups, though the requirement that often causes the most hoopla and disqualifies many top contenders actually makes sense given whose handing out the awards, that a requirement to be a WGA member when the script was written (or something to that effect). It often leaves out many top foreign language films and films written by foreign writers.

  14. What an oversight that they did not recognize MARGIN CALL. A timely story relevant to what’s going on in the today’s news. Some of these other films are fluff by comparison. Sad.

  15. I urge every WGA member NOT to vote for any film that did not send you a screener. If they believe you’re not worthy enough to receive the end result on disc, then, piss on ’em and let them die…

  16. It’s a construction of material, a LOT of material and deciding which parts of the story to tell (and also which to leave out) are decisions which can only be made by a storyteller. The greatest trick the documentary writer ever pulled off was convincing the world they didn’t exist.

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