Writers and Producers announce award nominations

The Producers Guild and the Writers Guild, two-thirds of the three best known guilds in Hollywood, have announced their award nominations. If you’re in a hurry to see the actual contenders, they’re all after the flip below. The Directors Guild list will be along next week.

There aren’t any major shocks and mostly what they do is solidify the already leading contenders for the big Kahuna of awards with the bald head and the sword where his genitals should be (thank you, Dustin Hoffman!). If you’ve been following this at all, you can probably guess which films are getting the nods.

Still, there are some interesting differences in the Writer’s Guild awards, but it has to be said that’s likely because a few major contenders were ruled as ineligible under that organization’s rules — their awards are intended not to honor the best writing, per se, but the best writing done under WGA aegis. You could call that counterproductive, but just try an argue with a writer. I guess it’s not too surprising that a British film like “The King’s Speech” might not fit as I’m sure England has its own organizations for writers, but I have no clue why the 100% American originated “Toy Story 3” wouldn’t be written under the Writer’s Guild jurisdiction. (It’s not because it’s animated. Other movies excluded include the highly acclaimed indie, “Winter’s Bone,” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”)

Toy Story 3

Meanwhile, on the producers’ side, there’s been the usual controversy about the eligibility not of films but of the people credited as producing them. Nikki Finke covers the fact that Relativity honcho Ryan Kavenaugh — quickly becoming perhaps the most written about exec in town — was ruled ineligable for “The Fighter” despite being very much involved in the production. The problem, of course, is that at least everyone knows what a writer does. “Producing” a movie can mean almost anything from putting up the cash, to owning the rights to a property, to having the correct spouse.

The film nominations are after the flip. For the voluminous TV nominations for each group, just click on the links for the complete list.

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Some not very newsy awards news (updated)

The Writers Guild and the Sound Editors gave out their awards last night and it’s safe to say that, winners aside, no one’s world was too terribly rocked.

Journalist-turned-screenwriter Mark Boal was rewarded for his hard-earned real-world experience as an embedded reporter with a Best Original Screenplay nod for “The Hurt Locker.” In another completely unsurprising award, the well-liked and respected Jason Reitman was similarly rewarded for his critically acclaimed work on the adult-aimed topical comedy, “Up in the Air.” The documentary category wasn’t much of a surprise either, with the muckraking “The Cove” picking up yet another award.

This isn’t quite on the level of a statistical study, but it’s worth noting that, for the last couple of years at least, the WGA awards and the Oscars have been lining up 100% in the writing categories, so Oscar betters should take note.  This is a bit of a blow to any fans of Quentin Tarantino“Pulp Fiction” screenplay and the writers tend to be a bit more openminded about offbeat films than Oscar voters as a whole. who might have been hoping for some Oscar wins, as Best Original Screenplay has been “his” category in the sense that his only Oscar win so far has been for his

Still, older and/or less geeky fans of old-school post-war (as in WWII) realism are likely impressed by the real-life underpinnings of Boal’s work and Kathryn Bigelow’s film is just edgy enough, while not marred in the minds of some by being a “fun” war movie, and “Inglourious Basterds” is definitely fun. It’s also controversial to some degree, perhaps not the best combination if all you want out of a movie is award wins.

James Gandolfini and Mimi Kennedy in In the adapted screenplay category, I personally wouldn’t have minded seeing the award go to the brilliant and scabrous “In the Loop,” but that film was less widely seen and it’s humor might be bit too nasty (in a good, cleansing way) and British for some.

[UPDATE: Aren’t you people supposed to correct me when I write complete nonsense? If I had bothered to check a bit more carefully this morning before I wrote this, I would have noted/remembered that “Basterds” was not nominated for a Writers Guild award and therefore might have somewhat better Oscar screenplay chances than I initially thought. The same applies to “In the Loop.” These scripts were not eligible under the WGA’s rather arcane rules which also disqualified such worthy films as “An Education.” If you’re curious about the reasons why, Steve Pond, via Anne Thompson, had a partial explanation back in January. Anyhow, thanks to Anne Thompson, whose post on this showed me the error of my ways, or whatever. We now resume our regularly scheduled blog post.]

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