Oscar contenders get a WGA boost, but many foreign, indie and animated candidates for Oscar nominations are not WGA eligible, per usual.
Oscar frontrunners “The Big Short,” “The Martian” and “Spotlight" landed Writers Guild of America nominations, as well as rising stars “Straight Outta Compton" and "Sicario," which are showing unexpected strength with the guilds, Amy Schumer original comedy “Trainwreck,” and adaptations "Bridge of Spies," "Carol," "Steve Jobs" and "Trumbo."
The WGA named four documentary nominees: Oscar-shortlisted “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” from Alex Gibney, and Brett Morgan's “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” Amy Berg's “Prophet’s Prey” and Robert Cohen's “Being Canadian.”
As always, the WGA insists on following rules so that only scripts written by WGA members and/or produced under the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement are eligible to compete for their awards. Winners will be announced in NY and LA on Saturday, February 13th.
The list of ineligibles beyond the 61 original and 51 adapted screenplays considered include: Original Screenplays “99 Homes," "Clouds of Sils Maria,” "Ex Machina," “The Hateful Eight,” “Inside Out,” "Suffragette," "Youth," and Hungarian Oscar entry “Son of Saul," and Adapted Screenplays “45 Years," "Anomalisa," “Brooklyn,” "Mad Max: Fury Road," “The Danish Girl” and “Room.” Quentin Tarantino won the Oscar for original "Django Unchained" in 2013 without getting a WGA nomination. That same year Michael Haneke's "Amour" was ineligible but scored a writing nomination as well.
Because of this disparity the WGA nominees are not predictive but the winners often are: since 2000, reports The Wrap,
22 of the 32 WGA winners in both adapted and original went on to win Oscars.
The list of WGA nominees:
“Bridge of Spies,” Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen; DreamWorks Pictures
“Sicario,” Written by Taylor Sheridan; Lionsgate
“Spotlight,” Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy; Open Road Films
“Straight Outta Compton,” Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff; Universal Pictures
“Trainwreck,” Written by Amy Schumer; Universal Pictures
“The Big Short,” Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Based on the Book by Michael Lewis; Paramount Pictures
“Carol,” Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy; Based on the Novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith; The Weinstein Company
“The Martian,” Screenplay by Drew Goddard; Based on the Novel by Andy Weir; Twentieth Century Fox
“Steve Jobs,” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Walter Isaacson; Universal Pictures
“Trumbo,” Written by John McNamara; Based on the Biography by Bruce Cook; Bleecker Street Media
“Being Canadian,” Written by Robert Cohen; Candy Factory Films
“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” Written by Brett Morgen; HBO Documentary Films
“Prophet’s Prey,” Written by Amy J. Berg; Showtime Documentary Films