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Writers Guild Awards Nominations: 'Whiplash', 'Gone Girl', 'Guardians' On Diverse List

The WGA has announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen during 2014 in three categories: original, adapted and documentary screenplays. Among the notables unveiled this morning: Damien Chazelle’s script for Whiplash nominated in the Original Screenplay category, the day after the Oscar Academy was criticized for slotting it in its Adapted Screenplay race. Today’s WGA nom will keep that story alive.

Winners will be honored February 14 at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.

Joining Whiplash on the original script list is Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, E Max Frye and Dan Futterman’s Foxcatcher, Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel and Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. On the adapted side are Jason Hall’s American Sniper, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Graham Moore’s The Imitation Game and Nick Hornby’s Wild. They are joined by a rare nom for a tentploe: James Gunn and Nicole Perlman’s script for Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, the top-grossing movie of 2014.

Notably absent are Oscar-gunning scripts for Birdman, The Theory of Everything and Selma, which are ineligible for WGA Awards recognition because they weren’t made under the guild’s Basic Agreement. Last year, 12 Years A Slave was also ineligible but went on to win the Adapted Screenplay Oscar for John Ridley.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Boyhood
Written by Richard Linklater; IFC Films

Foxcatcher
Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman; Sony Pictures Classics

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness; Fox Searchlight

Nightcrawler
Written by Dan Gilroy; Open Road Films

Whiplash
Written by Damien Chazelle; Sony Pictures Classics

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

American Sniper
Written by Jason Hall; Based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice; Warner Bros.

Gone Girl
Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel; 20th Century Fox

Guardians of the Galaxy
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges; The Weinstein Company

Wild
Screenplay by Nick Hornby; Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed; Fox Searchlight

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Finding Vivian Maier
Written by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel; Sundance Selects

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
Written by Brian Knappenberger; FilmBuff

Last Days in Vietnam
Written by Mark Bailey & Kevin McAlester; American Experience Films

Red Army
Written by Gabe Polsky; Sony Pictures Classics

  1. Guardians? Seriously? I mean, I suppose if you prefer dated pop culture references over things like a coherent plot, character development, and internal logic, then sure, why not… What a joke. When a movie relies on a cheesy 70’s soundtrack to provide 90% of its emotional depth and tone, perhaps the screenplay isn’t something to celebrate.

  2. As a WGA member, I will now make sure I see every one of the nominated films (I’ve seen roughly half). But so far, my feeling is it’s a very off year for great screenplays.

  3. Foxcatcher and Guardians of the Galaxy over Birdman? The Good Lie? Most Violent Year? The WGA isn’t doing their job which is to READ the screenplays.

  4. No wonder writers get no respect in this town. They don’t respect themselves (I know, nothing new there).
    Guardians of the Galaxy?
    Wild? (Good book, middling screenplay with an “enlightment” ending that comes from nowhere)
    Foxcatcher? (Passive protagonist anyone? Too scared to tell the real gay underlying story?)
    Grand Budapest? (Got the Woody Allen vote — which is vote for anything by a writer you’ve liked in the past)
    Gone Girl? (worse than the tiresome book)
    American Sniper? (sanitized version of the book by a guy with some very nonPC thoughts. But makes us feel good about war(s).)
    Whiplash was good but the WGA screwed up the category. Oscar got it right.
    How appropriate that the best written movie of the year, Birdman, was not eligible for a WGA award. Probably would’ve been snubbed.

    1. To state the obvious you seem disenchanted with the nominees. Dare I say, cynical. What are your picks?

    2. It’s sickening to see a lot of your reactions to these nominations. With what credentials can you criticize these picks or the opinions of other people? Anyone who suggested ‘Birdman’ is out of the loop and obliviant. The movie was incredible with an incredibly well rounded story and brilliant screenplay. It’s absurd to criticize the in ineligibility of a film and to project that criticism on the voters. Don’t you think if everyone is raving about the picture, the members of the WGA may have been just as impressed and likely to vote had it been eligible? And for all the critiques of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ I urge you to get your head out of your asses and go rewatch the film with an unbiased opinion. Do not approach it as a Disney, Marvel, or even superhero film. James Gunn crafted a wonderful love letter to both the cheese and charm of the 70s through the medium of a more modern and universal film style. The wit and intellect in that script is unmatched by any other summer blockbuster. There IS an extraordinary amount of character development and a VERY coherent plot that obviously everyone (including young children) could follow save for WiscoJoe. Gunn did with a superhero movie what Wes Anderson or Woody Allen does with comedy. And one last thing: the anonymous ass who doesn’t understand the “snubbing” of ‘Interstellar’ needs to get their brain and taste in movies checked. While I have enormous respect for Nolan and every actor in that film, it was an over-complicated, stale film that relied on visual effects to hook it’s audience. Running roughly 45 minutes too long, it was ultimately droll to say the least. And since were talking screenplays, it was one that had been passed around and revised for years and it showed.

  5. Richard ´fly by the seat of your pants´ Linklater has said of a script not existing when filming began. Why is he in the list?

  6. For once the Academy was correct, and the dickless cowards bent to pressure to wrong a right. ´Whiplash´ is based on a short film. Any pre-existing material published or recorded is called ´other source material´.

    USA, wrong again.

    USA
    USA.

      1. It was NOT a short film in the conventional sense. Chazelle couldn’t get financing, so he filmed one scene as a sizzle reel. It was a feature screenplay before it was a “short,” therefore it should be considered an original.

    1. an also important question is: how many movies of all those released in 2014 had women writers in the first place?

  7. I still have to see “Gone Girl.” Love the actors, but the title does kind of turn me off. It sounds like a teen “bubble gum” blog or something. Hoping to love the film anyway…

  8. I hope the scripts get released for us to read. I would really love to read GotG, American Sniper, and Foxcatcher.

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