Writers Guild of America Film Nominations for 2017
Earlier today, the Writers Guild of America announced their film nominations for 2017, and as usual, there are a couple of surprises in the form of omissions and inclusions.
However, as usual, we need to address the guild's main issue of not being all-inclusive. As you probably know, the WGA is the one guild that follows rules that dictate that, if a film doesn't follow their specific guidelines, then the screenplay will not be considered for their awards. Every year, this leads to major nominees being left out of the running, with this year's main casualty being Martin McDonagh's outstanding "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri," a script that was sure to be nominated, and very well could have won. Because of the guild's archaic and asinine rules, we won't have a clear indication of what's in the lead for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, only what would win with this particular group. We can only hope that one day they'll join the 21st century and include all screenplays for their awards in the future, instead of being bogged down by misguided, self-indulgent guidelines such as they have now.
With that unpleasantness out of the way, le's take a look at what's here. The biggest omission that most will probably notice right away is Liz Hannah and Josh Singer' script for "The Post," Steven Spielberg's latest film. It was assumed it would get in here rather easily, but instead, it looks like it's effectively been eliminated from the competition, and subsequently for Best Picture (no nomination here equals no chance of winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and nowadays no screenplay Oscar means no Best Picture Oscar).
The biggest surprise inclusion easily goes to "Logan," though perhaps we shouldn't really be surprised at all given how superhero-friendly the WGA has been in recent years, having given nominations to "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Deadpool" not too long ago. Could an Oscar nomination be next, or will "Wonder" or "All the Money in the World" take that slot at the last minute?
As far as the awards go, in Original it looks like it's going to be a battle between Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" and Jordan Peele's "Get Out," both of which have been quite popular throughout the award season thus far, though it's interesting to note that the latter was snubbed for a Best Screenplay nomination at the Golden Globes. Meanwhile, it looks like it's going to be a fight between "Call Me by Your Name" and "The Disaster Artist" in Adapted. However, it's interesting to note that "Molly's Game" was the only adapted screenplay to earn a Golden Globe nod for Screenplay, and given that they've had the winner for both categories in their small list of five nominees for several years in a row, I suppose we shouldn't be shocked if Aaron Sorkin pulls an upset here.
Be sure to check back to see who wins on February 11th. In the meantime, please see below for a complete list of the WGA's film nominations:
The Big Sick, Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani; Amazon Studios
Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele; Universal Pictures
I, Tonya, Written by Steven Rogers; Neon
Lady Bird, Written by Greta Gerwig; A24
The Shape of Water, Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro; Fox Searchlight
Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory; Based on the Novel by André Aciman; Sony Pictures Classics
The Disaster Artist, Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; Based on the Book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell; A24
Logan, Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold; Based on Characters from the X-Men Comic Books and Theatrical Motion Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox Film
Molly's Game, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Molly Bloom; STX Entertainment
Mudbound, Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees; Based on the Novel by Hillary Jordan; Netflix
Betting on Zero, Written by Theodore Braun; Gunpowder & Sky
Jane, Written by Brett Morgen; National Geographic
No Stone Unturned, Written by Alex Gibney; Abramorama
Oklahoma City, Written by Barak Goodman; American Experience Films
Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.