“Atonement,” written by Christopher Hampton
“Charlie Wilson’s War,” written by Aaron Sorkin
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” written by Ronald Harwood
“Juno” by Diablo Cody
“No Country for Old Men,” written by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
The recent history of Golden Globes screenwriting winners reveals a couple of trends. First, recent titlists tend to have at least five total noms. This year, “Atonement” has seven while “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “No Country for Old Men” boast five.
Second, unsurprisingly, the HFPA has a history of leaning toward scripts with some kind of international flair. Three of this year’s nominees fit that bill: “Atonement,” “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” (Four, if you count the presence of Javier Bardem in “No Country.”)
“Atonement” is from a beloved English novel and features scenes in France. “Diving Bell’s” peculiar history gives it an extra international angle: It was adapted in English from the French book, then translated back into French.
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“Charlie Wilson’s War” goes farther afield, to Afghanistan, where it takes a somewhat gung-ho look at American intentions in the region. Aaron Sorkin has never been nommed before, and the HFPA didn’t shower “The West Wing” with honors, so the film may face tough going.
The lone original in the mix, “Juno,” may lack a foreign angle, but the HFPA has recognized scripts that take a witty, critical look at American life (“About Schmidt,” “Sideways”) and could do so again.
The HFPA has not been especially kind to the Coen brothers over the years. They have never won a Globe, and their spare and faithful “No Country” adaptation is their first Globe writing nom.