The Writers Guild of America revealed a preference for dramas and quirky comedies in naming its 2010 kudos contenders.
The scribe tribe’s nominees for original screenplay honors are “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right” and “Please Give.” Adapted screenplay nominees are “127 Hours,” “I Love You Phillip Morris,” “The Social Network,” “The Town” and “True Grit.”
The WGA revealed its noms Tuesday and will announce winners Feb. 5, based on voting by its 12,000 members. It will hold simultaneous ceremonies at L.A.’s Renaissance Hotel and at New York’s AXA Equitable Center.
The WGA nominations included a pair of surprises with the bids for indie comedies “I Love You Phillip Morris” and “Please Give.”
Nicole Holofcener, who wrote and directed “Please Give,” acknowledged that validation by her peers was important.
“Like it or not, I wish it wasn’t, but it is,” she told Daily Variety. “It’s hard to keep believing in yourself as a writer; I’m sure most writers feel that way because it’s such an isolating thing, and so this has certainly boosted my confidence. I could use it.”
The eight other titles nommed by the WGA also received bids from the Producers Guild of America, which announced its feature contenders Tuesday.
The WGA’s ballot listed 43 screenplays in the original category and 33 in the adapted class. Guild’s requirement that scripts be produced under WGA jurisdiction resulted in exclusion of several notable candidates such as “Another Year,” “Biutiful,” “Blue Valentine,” “The Ghost Writer,” “The King’s Speech,” “Made in Dagenham,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “Toy Story 3” and “Winter’s Bone.”
Eligible scripts overlooked by the WGA included “Get Low,” “Greenberg,” “Rabbit Hole” and “Shutter Island.”
Scribes nommed in the original category: “Black Swan,” screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin and story by Andres Heinz; “The Fighter,” screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson and story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; “Inception,” by Christopher Nolan; “The Kids Are All Right” by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg; “Please Give” by Holofcener.
Nominated writers in the adapted category: “127 Hours,” screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy, based on the book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aron Ralston; “I Love You Phillip Morris,” screenplay by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, based on the book by Steven McVicker; “The Social Network,” screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich; “The Town,” screenplay by Peter Craig and Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard, based on the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan; and “True Grit,” screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Charles Portis.
Even with the eligibility exclusions, the WGA awards have been a fairly reliable indicator for Oscar winners. Winners of the original screenplay trophies have matched in 11 of the last 16 years, including last year, when Mark Boal won the WGA laurel and Oscar for “The Hurt Locker”; the adapted screenplay awards have also matched in 11 of the last 16 years but differed last year, when Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner won the WGA trophy for “Up in the Air” and Geoffrey Fletcher won the Oscar for “Precious.”
The Oscar noms will be unveiled Jan. 25. The writers branch composes about 7% of the Academy’s voting membership, or 375 of 5,755.
The WGA also announced half a dozen documentary nominations Tuesday including “Enemies of the People,” written, directed, filmed and produced by Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath; “Freedom Riders,” written, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson; “Gasland,” written and directed by Josh Fox; “Inside Job,” produced, written and directed by Charles Ferguson and co-written by Chad Beck, Adam Bolt; “The Two Escobars,” written by Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist; and “Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?,” written and directed by John Scheinfeld.
“Enemies of the People,” “Gasland” and “Inside Job” are on the AMPAS short list for consideration as Oscar feature docu nominees.
The WGA does not require that documentaries be produced under its jurisdiction to receive a nomination but the credited writers must have joined the WGA West’s Nonfiction Writers Caucus or the WGA East Nonfiction Writers Caucus to be considered.
(Steve Chagollan contributed to this report.)