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Good Morning, Oscar: January 7

Everybody’s talking about the guilds, both writers and directors

In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news and notes from around the web, everybody’s talking about the guilds, both writers and directors.

Peter Knegt finds that “An Education” joins the three Weinstein Company movies as ineligible for the Writers Guild Awards. In this case, though, British writer (and WGA member) Nick Hornby seems to be the victim of a new rule that didn’t even exist when the film was made, according to what his reps tell Knegt. (indieWIRE)

Melena Ryzik, on the other hand, checked with the WGA and got a different story: Hornby isn’t eligible because “An Education” it wasn’t made for a company that was a signatory to a collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild or an affiliated guild. (The Carpetbagger)

Kris Tapley uncovers a couple more films that aren’t eligible for the Writers Guild Awards: “District 9,” “In the Loop,” and the animated films “Up” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Rarely has there been a year in which so many notable screenplays were deemed ineligible. (In Contention)

Sasha Stone bemoans all the disqualifications, and concludes: “So I guess this will just be one of those years where the WGA is not really relevant.” Her readers proceed to rip the Writers Guild for its rules, until one of them, a guild member, makes the key point that the WGA Awards are not designed to honor the best scripts of the year. They are designed to “celebrate the contribution of WGA members to the film industry,” which means their qualifying requirements make perfect sense. (Awards Daily)

Awards Daily compiles DGA predictions. Every one of the 15 experts says nominations will go to Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”), James Cameron (“Avatar”), Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”); the only question seems to be that fifth slot, where the top candidates are Lee Daniels (“Precious”), Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”) and Clint Eastwood (“Invictus”). I opted for Daniels, though I’d love to see Blomkamp or “An Education” director Lone Scherfig. And I have a nagging feeling that Tarantino may not be quite as much of a lock as people think, but it’s not concrete enough to make me change my vote. (Awards Daily)

Since Variety is now behind a paywall that can be briefly circumvented only by giving up loads of personal information, it’s gotten harder for most people to keep up with the often amusingly cranky opinions of the trade paper’s former editor, Peter Bart. So Patrick Goldstein does the job for us, nicely summarizing a bizarre Bart rant in which the former studio chief turned editor turned blogger lambastes critics for their Top 10 lists (for instance, he thinks Michael Phillips is nuts to put the magnificent “There Will Be Blood” on his best-of-the-decade list because Bart found that film “about as moving as a root canal”), and then admits that his own list, were he to make one, would include insincere choices: “I got more dopey fun this year out of ‘Pirate Radio’ than, say, ‘Invictus,’ but the latter would inevitably make my 10-best list." I say there ought not be anything inevitable about that. (The Big Picture)