The Writer’s Guild of America announced the nominees for the 2008 WGA Awards.  Without further ado, some reaction…

Original Screenplay

“Burn After Reading,” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen                     
Lowdown: Um, really?  Everybody loves the Coens I guess.

“Milk,” Written by Dustin Lance Black    
Lowdown: Weak year, but congrats Mr. Black.  You’re well on your way to an Oscar nod.  West Hollywood may not be able to contain your ego any longer.

“Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Written by Woody Allen   
Lowdown:  Master got his mojo back this summer and his peers didn’t forget.

“The Visitor,” Written by Tom McCarthy             
Lowdown:  Richard Jenkins is still a question mark for the Best Actor race, so this is most likely where the Academy will reward the well-respected Overture indie.  

“The Wrestler,” Written by Robert Siegel
Lowdown:  Good sign for the Oscars.  Most likely in at this point.

Missing: Not a good sign for Pixar’s “WALL-E” if the writer’s couldn’t find room for it in a seriously weak year for this category. (Update: As noted by succinct HitFix member Hoffmry, "WALL-E" was not eligible for this award.  Whoopsie!  It's then pretty likely that the Coen's won't receive the same love they got here from the Academy.)


Adapted Screenplay

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Screenplay by Eric Roth; Screen Story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
Lowdown: Not a surprise.  Has a good shot at winning both here and at the Oscars.

The Dark Knight,” Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan; Story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer
Lowdown.  More relief for the Bat Team.  Another sign the Best Picture nod is a clear lock at this point.

“Doubt,” Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley
Lowdown:  Honestly a surprise.  Has it really transcended its stage roots?  Another win for Rudin and 42 West.

“Frost/Nixon,” Screenplay by Peter Morgan
Lowdown: Deserved and expected.

Slumdog Millionaire,” Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
Lowdown:  The people’s choice.  Should duke it out with “Button” in the winner’s circle.

Missing:  Another dire sign for “Revolutionary Road.”  The DreamWorks/Paramount Vantage flick may have to be satisfied with only acting recognition on Oscar Sunday.


Documentary Screenplay

“Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story,” Written by Stefan Forbes and Noland Walker

“Chicago 10,” Written by Brett Morgen

“Fuel,” Written by Johnny O'Hara

“Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson,” Screenplay by Alex Gibney

“Waltz with Bashir,” Written by Ari Folman


Earlier today, the American Society of Cinematographers announced their year-end award nominees.  The finalists are:

Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (“Revolutionary Road” and “The Reader”)

Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC (“Slumdog Millionaire”)

Chris Menges, ASC, BSC (“The Reader”)

Claudio Miranda (“The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button”)

Wally Pfister, ASC (“The Dark Knight”)

Of course, the rarity here is that “The Reader” received multiple nominations because the film needed to use two different DP’s during the course of production.  If you hadn’t heard, Deakins was the originally cinematographer of the film.  Unfortunately, when Nicole Kidman had to drop out of the title role because of pregnancy, the film went on hiatus until Kate Winslet came on board.  During that time Deakins moved on to “Revolutionary Road” and Chris Menges came on board.  All’s well that ends well and don’t look for this to happen on Oscar nomination morning.  

In fact, the only question is whether Harris Savides, who expertly handled Gus Van Sant’s “Milk,” will receive his first Oscar nod instead of (most likely) Chris Menges.

More to come tomorrow with DGA nods on the way.  Who’s in and who’s out?