With 2014 already behind us, critics and many others (including some of your favorite writers on the GoD staff) have already weighed in on what they felt were the top films of the year. Now, it’s time to recognize those films.
The Writers Guild Of America (WGA) has just announced their nominations for the best screenplays in the original, adapted, and documentary categories. Oftentimes, these nominations (and the winners) are a precursor to who may be nominated for Academy Awards – with the exception of Whiplash, but more on that later.
Hit the jump to see the nominations.
Written by Richard Linklater
Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Written by Dan Gilroy
Written by Damien Chazelle
Written by Jason Hall; Based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
Screenplay by Nick Hornby; Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed
Finding Vivian Maier
Written by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
Written by Brian Knappenberger
Last Days in Vietnam
Written by Mark Bailey & Kevin McAlester
Written by Gabe Polsky
Now, Whiplash may be nominated for Best Original Screenplay, according to the WGA, but the Academy classifies the film as an Adaptation. Why? According to them, the film is based on a short that director Damien Chazelle created a few years back. Now the short was actually a pitch to get the budget necessary for the actual film to get produced. The short was a huge success at the Sundance Film Festival, even winning some awards. Most importantly it got the financing it needed for the film to get produced.
But according to Deadline, a short falls under the guidelines of works previously produced or published material. This includes “plays, films, TV series, songs, poems, sequels, prequels, remakes, radio broadcasts, graphic novels, comics novels, nonfiction books and stories as well as numerous categories of unpublished material.” So even though the short was a portion of the film that was actually a pitch, the Academy considers it an official short, therefore, the actual Whiplash film is an adaptation.
While the votes are tallied to see who gets nominated, if Whiplash does get a Best Adaptive screenplay nod, all it does is hurt chances to the other films that deserve it. Using the WGA noms as examples, that means Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, Wild, Imitation Game, or American Sniper could be snubbed out of an Oscar nom they deserved.
We’ll see what happens when the Academy announces nominations on January 15, 2015.