We've Got Hollywood Covered

Writers Guild Nominations: ‘Her,’ ‘Nebraska,’ ‘August: Osage County’ Have the Write Stuff

WGA draws from a far smaller field than the Academy, with “12 Years a Slave” among the ineligible screenplays


The Writers Guild of America has nominated “American Hustle,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” Her” and “Nebraska” as the best original screenplays of 2013, the WGA, West and WGA, East announced on Friday.

In the adapted-screenplay category, the nominees were “August: Osage County,” “Before Midnight,” “Captain Phillips,” “Lone Survivor” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

The nominations were good news for “Dallas Buyers Club,” which had a second strong day on the heels of its nomination by the Producers Guild on Thursday, and for “Lone Survivor,” which picked up its first major guild nomination over contenders like “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “Labor Day.”

The Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” missed a nomination for the second day in a row.

Of the 10 WGA nominees, seven were also singled out by the PGA: “American Hustle,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Captain Phillips” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Also read: Producers Guild Nominations: ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Blue Jasmine’ Make the Cut

In the documentary category, WGA restrictions and a strong, varied year for docs meant that only two of the five nominees, “Dirty Wars” and “Stories We Tell,” are films also on the Oscars’ 15-film shortlist.

Also nominated: “Herblock – The Black & The White,” “No Place on Earth” and “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.”

Several high-profile Oscar contenders, including “12 Years a Slave,” “Philomena,” “Fruitvale Station” and “Short Term 12,” failed to receive nominations — but they weren’t snubbed by WGA voters.

Instead, they were deemed ineligible by guild rules, which restrict its awards to films written by members or written for productions that are made under the jurisdiction of the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement, or the agreement of several affiliated international guilds.

Every year, the restrictions knock out a number of scripts that would otherwise be in contention, including such past Oscar-winning screenplays as “The King’s Speech” and “Django Unchained.”

This year, the WGA qualified only 41 films in the adapted-screenplay category and 54 for original screenplay. The Academy, on the other hand, has 122 adapted screenplays and 154 original screenplays in the running, making its field almost three times as large as the guild’s.

In the adapted category, this year’s WGA-ineligible films include “12 Years a Slave,” out of the running because screenwriter John Ridley is a non-voting member of the WGA, as well as “Philomena,” “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” “Short Term 12” and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” On the original-screenplay side, “Rush,” “Fruitvale Station” and “In a World” all failed to qualify.

The stricter qualifying rules for the WGA Awards make it the major guild award with the least correlation to Oscar nominations, with only slightly more than 50 percent of WGA nominees going on to Academy recognition over the last five years.

On the other hand, the Writers Guild has a good track record matching winners, with 16 of the last 22 WGA winners also taking home Oscars.

The Writers Guild of America, West and Writers Guild of America, East shows will take place simultaneously in Los Angeles and New York on Feb. 1.

The nominees:


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


August: 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

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