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'American Hustle' and 'Before Midnight' among Writers Guild Award nominees

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A day after the Producers Guild announced their list of nominees, the Writers Guild have chimed in with their own set. Before anyone has a freak out over the absence of 12 Years a Slave, please keep in mind that due to the WGA’s arcane rules and guidelines, the film is ineligible for consideration. That shouldn’t damper its chances with the Academy one bit as plenty of screenplays have been deemed ineligible by the WGA in the past, gone on to get Oscar-nominated and even win. Previous Oscar-winning screenplays that were not eligible for the WGA prize include The King’s Speech, The Pianist, Talk to Her and last year’s Best Original Screenplay winner – Django Unchained.

In the Original Screenplay category, presumed frontrunners David O. Russell and Eric Singer (American Hustle) go up against 21-time nominee Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Spike Jonze (Her), Bob Nelson (Nebraska) and Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack for their script of Dallas Buyers Club. The only real omission of note is the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, a film that also missed out on a nod with the PGA. With major misses from both the producers and the writers, it’s unlikely that the musical drama will curry favor from the Directors (who announce on January 7th) – especially considering the strength of Dallas Buyers Club – the film that I assume took its place, and has now showed up with both the PGA and the WGA. I don’t get the love.

In an unusually weak Adapted Screenplay field, further weakened due to the ineligibilities of 12 Years a Slave and even Philomena, the nominees include likely winner Before Midnight, dark horse Captain Phillips, the theatrical August: Osage County, the expletive-ridden The Wolf of Wall Street and Peter Berg’s flag-waving Lone Survivor. I think the first three should be strong bets for Oscar nominations while the latter two are likely to be switched out for the aforementioned 12 Years a Slave and Philomena.

The WGA reveal their winners on February 1st.

Full list of nominees below:

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

"American Hustle," Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures

"Blue Jasmine," Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics

"Dallas Buyers Club," Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack; Focus Features

"Her," Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.

"Nebraska," Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

"August: Osage County," Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company

"Before Midnight," Written by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Classics

"Captain Phillips," Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures

"Lone Survivor," Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures

"The Wolf of Wall Street," Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Dirty Wars, Written by Jeremy Scahill & David Riker; Sundance Selects

Herblock – The Black & The White, Written by Sara Lukinson & Michael Stevens; The Stevens Company

No Place on Earth, Written by Janet Tobias & Paul Laikin; Magnolia Pictures

Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions

We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks; Written by Alex Gibney; Focus Features

SOURCE: Writers Guild Awards

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