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Writers Guild of America Winners Include ‘Her,’ ‘Captain Phillips,’ and ‘Stories We Tell’

Chris Pratt - HerThe Writers Guild of America has weighed in with their winners and its never felt so good to be so wrong.  The scribes have decided to award Spike Jonze and Billy Ray their top film honors.  Jonze, an Oscar-nominated writer for “Her,” beat out big time competitors Eric Singer and David O. Russell for “American Hustle.”  The nominated five by the Writers Guild mirrored the nominated Oscar five and it looks like Jonze has picked up the necessary steam especially after also winning the Golden Globe award.

Billy Ray’s win for “Captain Phillips” is deserving but all bits diminished by the absence of the two formidable frontrunners “12 Years a Slave” and “Philomena,” who were disqualified.  Ray managed to sneak by Terence Winter‘s “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke‘s “Before Midnight.”  Perhaps Ray’s chances at an Oscar upset have increased based on this, and even a surprise BAFTA could tip the scale in his favor.  For every assured Adapted Screenplay winner, there is a Geoffrey Fletcher waiting in the wings.

On the Documentary Feature front Sarah Polley‘s “Stories We Tell” pulled out all the stops to beat out some competent competitors including the Oscar-nominated “Dirty Wars” and “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.”  It was nice to see Polley get some type of high recognition after being snubbed by the Academy earlier this month.

The full list of winners including television are listed below:


  • Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, “Her”
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Billy Ray, “Captain Philli[ps”
  • Best Documentary Screenplay: Sarah Polley, “Stories We Tell”


  • Comedy Series: “Veep”
  • Drama Series: “Breaking Bad”
  • New Series: “House of Cards”
  • Episodic Comedy: Kack Burditt and Robert Carlock, “30 Rock” (“Hogcock!”)
  • Episodic Drama: Gennifer Hutchison, “Breaking Bad” (“Confessions”)
  • Long Form – Adapted: Shawn Slovo, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
  • Animation: Joel H. Cohen, “The Simpsons” (“A Test Before Trying”)
  • Comedy or Variety Series: “The Colbert Report”
  • Comedy or Variety Specials: “Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas”
  • Daytime Drama: “Days of Our Lives”
  • Childrens – Episodic & Specials: Vincent Brown, “A.N.T. Farm” (“InfluANTces”)
  • Documentary – Current Events: Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith, “Frontline” (“Egypt in Crisis”)
  • Documentary – Other Than Current Events: Randall MacLowry and Michelle Ferrari, “American Experience” (“Silicon Valley”)
  • News – Analysis, Feature or Commentary: Michael Rey, Oriana Zill de Granados and Michael Radutzky, “60 Minutes” (“Lethal Medicine”)
  • News – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report: Lisa Ferri and Matt Negrin, “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” (“Tragedy at Newtown”)
  • Quiz and Audience Patricipation: John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius and Billy Wisse, “Jeopardy!”
  • Television Graphic Art and Animation: David Rosen, CBS News Animations: “Brain Injury,” “Pills,” “Bionic Leg,” “Midland Parade,” “Concordia Salvage”
  • Promotional Writing and Graphic Animation: Erial Tompkins, “The Crazy Ones – Building a Better Comedy”
  • Video Game Writing: Neil Druckmann, “The Last of Us”
  • Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement: Paul Mazursky
  • Evelyn F. Burkey Award for Career Achievement: James Schamus
  • Valentine Davies Award: Sam Simon

What do you think?

72 points
Film Lover

Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of 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,, 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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