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How they got here: Original screenplay

'Hangover' gets laughs but not laurels

Much like the characters in “The Hangover,” that film’s writers might have woken up on Oscar-nomination morning and thought, What happened? Blockbuster comedies grabbing a screenplay nom aren’t unheard of, but there was no love for the raunchy summer hit. And James Cameron once again finds himself ignored in this category (for “Avatar”) when the potential exists for him to score big in many others (as “Titanic” did).

Instead, Academy voters went with prestige, including three war-related stories. Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker”) already has the Chicago critics prize for his acclaimed screenplay, while “The Messenger” scribes Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman took home a Berlin Film Festival award.

Previous screenplay Oscar winners Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Joel and Ethan Coen (“A Serious Man”) have earned their share of critics’ awards on the road to their nominations, with the Coens adding the National Board of Review prize as well.

Animation giant Pixar, meanwhile, continued its run in this category, as Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Tom McCarthy were recognized for the highly regarded “Up.”

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