It's good to get an Oscar boost from the various guilds, but eligibility requirements often make that attention and credibility lift impossible.
To whit: An Education, which wasn't eligible for the WGA award because Brit author Nick Hornby, who is a 10-year-member of the WGA, wasn't a member of the British local where An Education was filmed. The rule was imposed after the film was shot, according to a spokesperson for Sony Pictures Classics. UPDATE: A high-ranking WGA exec tells me that the guild tries to accommodate high-profile movies (like eventual Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola's In Translation) and it's usually a question of making things right financially. A non-union movie would have to pay up retroactively, in effect. With a high-profile writer like Hornby, the Oscar nomination will go through, in all likelihood, without a WGA boost.
Steve Pond explains why three Weinstein Co. films including likely Oscar nominee Inglourious Basterds were not eligible for WGA awards as well.
UPDATE: And Kris Tapley reports that District 9 and In the Loop are also ineligible.
Also missing from the WGA eligible films list is Me and Orson Welles, because the writers weren't WGA members. And animated films are never eligible, so don't be surprised when Up doesn't turn up. It's a question of belonging to another union.
The ballots are due by noon this Friday. The noms will be announced Monday, January 11, around noon.