The path to the best-picture Oscar almost always winds its way through the screenplay categories, so Thursday’s feature-film nominations from the Writers Guild of America could clarify the top contenders of this awards season.
But the list does come with some caveats. The organization has narrow requirements for eligibility that exclude films not written under a bargaining agreement from the WGA or its sister guilds, which is why you won’t see nominations for “Belfast” and “The Power of the Dog,” two movies that are hotly tipped as Oscar front-runners, in the screenplay categories. Other ineligible films include “The Lost Daughter,” “Passing,” “Cyrano” and international contenders like “A Hero,” “Drive My Car” and “Parallel Mothers.”
With all that said, which films did make it in? The original-screenplay category is filled with previously nominated WGA favorites like Aaron Sorkin (“Being the Ricardos”), Adam McKay (“Don’t Look Up”), Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), and Wes Anderson (“The French Dispatch”), with Zach Baylin’s script for “King Richard” rounding out the race.
In the adapted-screenplay category, three big-budget films were recognized: “Dune,” written by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth; “West Side Story,” by Tony Kushner; and “Nightmare Alley,” by Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan. They’ll compete against Sian Heder’s script for her film “CODA” and “Tick, Tick … Boom!” by Steven Levenson.
Winners of the WGA Awards will be announced during a ceremony on March 20. Here is the full list of nominations.
“Being the Ricardos,” Aaron Sorkin
“Don’t Look Up,” Adam McKay
“The French Dispatch,” Wes Anderson
“King Richard,” Zach Baylin
“Licorice Pizza,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“CODA,” Sian Heder
“Dune,” Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
“Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan
“Tick, Tick … Boom!,” Steven Levenson
“West Side Story,” Tony Kushner
“Being Cousteau,” Mark Monroe and Pax Wasserman
“Exposing Muybridge,” Marc Shaffer
“Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres,” Suzanne Joe Kai