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Writers Guild of America Award Predictions – ‘Hustle’ vs. ‘Her’

The_Writers_Guild_of_America_AwardsThe Writers Guild of America will bestow their honors this weekend.  Naturally, we have some Oscar overlay but we’ll be looking to the guild for one answer and one answer alone: how strong is David O. Russell‘s American Hustle?  The exact Oscar nominees for Best Original Screenplay are nominated by the Writers Guild.  We are all assuming that Russell’s film, at the very least, will receive a consolation prize in the screenplay category.  As days pass, the film looks less and less like the Oscar winner despite being nominated for ten Academy Awards.

We’ve had films like True Grit and Gangs of New York have the same number of nominations and go home empty-handed in other Oscar years.  I’m not COMPLETELY sold that “Hustle” will suffer the same fate but it has serious competition in all of its categories.  On the subject of the screenplay, Spike Jonze will prove his strength this weekend with his futuristic love story Her going against Russell.  On paper, Jonze should already be declared ahead of his competitors.  In a category of just five writer nominees that included John Ridley, Bob Nelson, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, and Russell and Eric Singer, Jonze won the Golden Globe award for Best Screenplay.  That could mean something for the Warner Bros. film in the long run with the Academy.  The WGA are an inventive and creative bunch that recognize eclectic writing credits.  This gives a huge edge to Jonze.  If he wins the award this weekend, maybe Her won’t be going home empty-handed after all in March.

Also worth noting, the last ten winners of the WGA for Original Screenplay have gone on to win the Oscar.

Adapted Screenplay is another animal altogether.  There is no 12 Years a Slave or Philomena in the lineup, both the top two Oscar contenders.  That offers up a nice opportunity for the Writers to go in a completely different direction.  Terence Winter is probably the favorite in the lineup for penning The Wolf of Wall Street and that’s something I won’t argue with if it in fact happens.  I do believe that Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke are strong threats to win their first award for penning the third installment to the “Before” series.  A fine choice that will shine a great light on this writing trio.  Captain Phillips could sneak in too.  This category is a crap shoot but I think “Wolf” should have it in the bag.

The full nominees and predicted winners are down below.  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

american_hustle_pictureORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • American Hustle – Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures
  • Blue Jasmine – Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
  • Dallas Buyers Club – Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack; Focus Features
  • Her – Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.
  • Nebraska – Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures

PREDICTED WINNER: American Hustle

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ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • wolfofwallstreet_poster_pictureAugust: Osage County – Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company
  • Before Midnight – Written by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Classics
  • Captain Phillips – Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures
  • Lone Survivor – Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures
  • The Wolf of Wall Street – Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures

PREDICTED WINNER: The Wolf of Wall Street

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DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

  • Dirty Wars – Written by Jeremy Scahill & David Riker; Sundance Selects
  • Herblock – The Black & The White – Written by Sara Lukinson & Michael Stevens; The Stevens Company
  • No Place on Earth – Written by Janet Tobias & Paul Laikin; Magnolia Pictures
  • Stories We Tell – Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks – Written by Alex Gibney; Focus Features

PREDICTED WINNER: Stories We Tell

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.

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