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Golden Globes Screenwriting nominees a fearsome bunch

Globes nominee John Ridley, screenwriter of "12 Years a Slave", attends a pre-ceremony luncheon Jan. 9 in Beverly Hills
David Buchan for Getty Images, Jan. 9, 2014

Tomorrow night's Golden Globes ceremony at the Beverly Hilton promises to be a riveting good time, offering humor, drama and a break from Bridgegate and the Polar Vortex.

Then again, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler may just take those topics and run them up a flagpole. Their comedic gifts are only rivaled by their writing chops, so who better to bestow the golden trophies to the likes of a Spike Jones or John Ridley?

And, while watching your favorite sitcom actor or actress prance onto the stage in a killer Tom Ford or Vera Wang will be loads of fun, we writers will be watching the other show, the one that's not hogging the spotlight: the battle between the screenwriters.

This year's field is graced by:

The Globes contenders battle it out on the heels of Jan. 3's Writers Guild of America announcement that some of these screenplays are also up for WGA awards for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen in 2013.

WGA nominees in the Original Screenplay category depart slightly from the Globes' choices, except with Singer along with Director David O. Russell for "American Hustle"; Jonze for "Her" and Nelson for "Nebraska. WGA rightly lauded Woody Allen, overlooked by the Globes, for "Blue Jasmine"; and Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack were nominated for "Dallas Buyers Club".

Nominees in the Adapted Screenplay category are Tracy Letts for "August: Osage County", based on his play; Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke for the charming "Before Midnight", and based on characters created by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan; Peter Berg's "Lone Survivor", based on a book by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson; Bill Ray for "Captain Phillips", based on the book "Captain's Duty: Somai Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea" by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; and "The Wolf of Wall Street"'s Terence Winter, based on a book by Jordan Belfort.

Yet, WGA nominations aside, aren't all bets off once Jonze and Ridley walk into that theater? While the world is craning their heads around to catch another glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence's dress and Bryan Cranston's BrBa tattoo--okay, maybe that's just me--five nervous screenwriters will be picking their nails, shuffling their ice (yes, amen, they can drink at this shin-dig) and taking deep breaths.

My money's on Jonze for "Her", perhaps because it's the most think-outside-the-box offering, and partly because it's not. This story tells the perfect allegory for our times, and challenges all of us to rethink what it means to fall in love in the Facebook age. It's also rife with metaphors and similes, like "the past is just a story we tell ourselves". "Her" exposes our vulnerability both to falling in love and while in love, while scorching us with the pain of its fragility.

Yet, "12 Years a Slave" has also resonated with everyone who's seen it, and "American Hustle" took me back to my junior year of high school in a more intriguing way than "Saturday Night Fever" had. (Perhaps because I really was a junior in high school when SNF came out)

But good luck to everyone. It's a formidable achievement to be in this elite group of screenwriters. Never forget, it always begins on the page.


To stay abreast of the Golden Globes goings-on tomorrow, go to Twitter and write #GoldenGlobes, #AskGlobes and #RedCarpet. At 4:57 pm. PST today, the Globes' web site stated that: "The talented stars of Tinseltown continue to pour into the Beverly Hilton for rehearsals day. The latest famous faces to grace the Golden Globes grounds include Chris Pine, Liam Neeson, Aaron Eckhart and Margot Robbie." Earlier, at 4:00 p.m., the Globes said that, "The stars are descending upon the Beverly Hilton for Golden Globes rehearsals - as big names like Jessica Chastain, Chris O'Donnell, Kate Beckinsale, Olivia Wilde and more all made appearances in preparation of Sunday's red carpet extravaganza..."

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