The Oscars are nearly upon us. We are only 10 days away from seeing the yearly extravaganza that pays homage to film starts of past and present. Before then, we are subjected to numerous other displays of respect towards film in the form of other award shows. The writers of these films will honor each other this Sunday Feb/ 19th at the 64th Writers Guild Awards.
While the Oscars are comprehensive and highlight all aspects of film, the Writers Guild covers one of the most interesting categories:. The guilds nominations were released on Jan. 5th and showed a diverse range for the original and adapted screenplay categories as well as the TV segments.
When the Academy announced the categories for best original and adapted screenplay on January 24th, there was quite some confusion. The slow paced Wall Street drama Margin Call received a best original nod instead of some of the more illustrious and wittily written films to premiere last year like 50/50 or Young Adult. For the adapted category, Clooney’s second directorial escapade into politics, The Ides of March, received a screenplay nomination instead of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There were many question marks hanging over voters heads as they watched the announcing ceremony continue.
Luckily, the Writers Guild nominations helped alleviate the confusion. The guild has some more restrictive requirements on voting than the Oscars, but they did honor many writers who gave us some of the best movies of the year. The aforementioned 50/50 received a well-deserved original screenplay nod, as well as the wonderfully dark but comedic script for Diablo Cody’s Young Adult. Adapted screenplay yielded no surprises with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo receiving a nomination in the category in which it belongs.
The Writers Guild awards are widely considered to be an accurate predictor of who will take home the coveted Academy Award a week later. Ultimately, the Writers Guild Awards are an important aspect of the awards season because they honor what I consider to be one of the most overlooked, but essential elements in film production, the screenwriter. A producer can’t produce a film without a story, and a director cant evoke any emotions from his/her muse without having a line of which to base it of. The screenwriters really are the unsung heroes of the film.
The Writers Guild Awards will be held in two parts, one in Hollywood, one in New York. Zooey Deschanel and Joel McHale will be taking on hosting responsibilities on the west coast, while Rachel Dratch of SNL fame will play host that night on the east coast. At the NYC airing, actress Kristen Wiig is expected to award her Bridesmaids producer, Judd Apatow, with the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy.
Be sure to check out the Writers Guild website and make your predictions as these illustrious word-smiths receive the honors they truly deserve for writing stories that touch our hearts and enrich our minds.