'Inception' and 'Social Network' win at WGA Awards

C. Flanigan/Filmmagic.com

Inception and The Social Network both won at tonight’s Writers Guild of America Awards. Christopher Nolan won the best original screenplay category for Inception while Aaron Sorkin was the victor in the best adapted screenplay category for The Social Network, which is adapted from the book The Accidental Billionaires. Winners in the television categories included Mad Men (Drama Series), Modern Family (Comedy Series), and Boardwalk Empire (New Series). Charles Ferguson, Chad Beck, and Adam Bolt also picked up a trophy for their doc, Inside Job (Documentary Screenplay).

Read more:
‘Mad Men,’ ‘Modern Family’ pick up WGA Awards


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  • Elliana

    Inception won for ripping off ExIsTence, The Cell, The Matrix, RapidEye, Lucid, Dark City and a Scrooge McDuck strip???? Wow. No wonder Hollywood’s originality is dead.

    • Woot

      The Cell? Really?

      • Joe

        Inception, like many blockbusters before it (whether “smart” or “dumb”) is the kind of film that people have forgotten already, not even a year after it was released. The kind of bloated, self-absorbed hit film (ala Van Helsing and I Am Legend) that gets people into seats, causes some momentary talk/buzz, and falls off the radar. I don’t know a single person that remembers any character’s name and in fact, the only place I hear any talk about it is when I check these niche fanboy message boards. With very few exceptions, blockbusters today simply come and go, and get replaced by the next shiny object. Inception is one of those.

      • Marie

        I think that’s the reason Nolan gets no love from the Academy as a director. He is best known for writing stories about complex ideas, thoughts, and elegantly coreographed action scenes. But his characters are usually mere plot conventions. I have seen every single Nolan film, and I can safely say that even though I can definitely appreciate the craft behind his filmmaking, there’s absolutely zero emotional resonance to his films. I believe the day he writes a great female character (another huge flaw of his, his females are weak) or a great film that is emotionally satisfying and places more focus on human relationships than on special effects, he will get his Best Director Oscar.

      • RT

        Joe and Marie are spot on. Inception is adored by the fanboys who seem unable to grasp that there are plenty of people who do not share their obsessions with what are, at best, fleetingly entertaining movies with little actual substance other than letting being spend a couple of hours out of the hot summer sun in an air conditioned auditorium. Inception remains the most overrated film of the year.

      • Woot

        A) Glad your responses to my comment pertained to my comment.
        B) Everyone I knows remember all the names from Inception, it’s not that hard. I’ll give you that some of the characters in Inception didn’t have much emotional resonance, but I think Memento had plenty of it.

      • Jose

        LOL Woot.

        anyway, I really don’t see much of The Cell, other than going into people’s heads,but even I dislike the film and yet I’m able to remember names and events in the film. It really didn’t have much emotional resonance, but its not as forgettable as others claim it is.

      • garfieldgirl

        i disagree quite a bit. marion cotillard(sp) is heartbreaking in the film. i still have no clue why she picked up no nominations. and leo and the ending and knowing that this all could be a dream…i will, repeat, heartbreaking.

      • Willow

        Well, duh! Of course the Nolan fanboys remember the names. But I concur with the two posters…none of the people in my college who went to see the film even talk about it anymore and when there was talk, I remember how they referred to the characters as “the chick from Juno”, “Leo”, “the Asian dude” and “the skinny British dude”…

      • gray

        1) You don’t have to like Inception (or anything Nolan has done for that matter) to recognize that it is artistic and well-crafted. Nolan’s screenplays are especially well-written and cohesive, which I can’t say about a lot of screenplays these days.

        2) Yes, some of Nolan’s characters functions as plot devices, but that is not to say that none of them evoke some form of emotion while watching the movie. Take Inception, for example: one of the reasons why we never got a glimpse into the characters of the rest of Cobb’s team was because we didn’t even know if Cobb was dreaming or not. And I find the fact that Cobb could be living his life without knowing that he is asleep or in limbo or wherever full of emotion, especially when I see it portrayed in the film.

        3) Just because no one talks about Inception anymore doesn’t mean it was a good film. Even films that you are all describing with “complex” characters and “great” stories don’t get talked about every day. I have yet to hear one person talk to me about “Up in the Air,” reportedly one such film, since January of ’10 when I saw it. Nor do I hear anyone talk about past best-picture winners/nominees in day-to-day conversation. “Crash”? Nope. “The Hurt Locker”? No. “American Beauty”? Maybe once. All of these I have seen and really liked, but no, I don’t remember the names of any of the characters, even though the stories may have resonated with me emotionally.

        4) Dismissing those that liked “Inception” as “Nolan fanboys” is a really, unfair criticism and stereotype. I’m pretty sure there are people who have liked “Inception” who haven’t seen “Memento.” Nor do they know what a “typical” Nolan character is. Sure, there are some. But to call them that is an easy way out of accepting the fact that Nolan does have talent, even if maybe you don’t like his stuff.

    • Tarc

      Haha, you’re funny.

    • Jenz

      So what’s your grand original, never been used before movie idea? Come on, let’s hear it. Stories have been told for thousands of years. Every basic story has been told before–it really is just about changing little details that makes it original. But by all means, if you think you can do better, I’d love to read your screenplay.

    • Japanese HIROSHI

      Elliana, I appreciate your opinions. However, given certain movie titles on the list (especially Dark City), while I might understand where you’re from, IMO, using your instances, then not a single writer should write, for example, a LOVE STORY anymore, because it’s been done before.

      I think you’re being too rigid. Just say’n.

    • Alex

      literally, ANY movie in existence can be related to other movies. So the fact that you can pick out a handful of other movies that have minor similarities with “Inception” proves nothing.

    • Boo Radley

      Yes, because all movies which feature some manifestation of a virtual world are exactly the same. Much the same way all Westerns are the same. And all period pieces. Now that I think about it, isnt The King’s Speech just My Left Foot but with stuttering as the handicap?

    • Niix Starkyller

      Awww, Elliana, you have such a cute little brain.

    • Voodoo

      I think Elliana is talking about plot elements, not genres, people. So your smarts remarks aren’t really…well, smart.

    • musica1

      Hahaha! Elliana has such a sense of humor!

    • Melanie

      PAPRIKA

    • Matthew

      Oh, shut up. Inception was great. Get over yourself.

      • ???

        I believe you’re talking about yourslf, right. If not, you’re a hypocrite.

  • Rebecca

    Hope this is good Oscar news for the Social Network.

  • JBD

    - A WGA award isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?
    – An Academy Award.

    • A

      You know what else isn’t cool? You.

      • bababooey

        ….zing?

      • The Leder

        Actually, that was pretty funny. And true.

      • The Leder

        (I was referring to the JBD comment)

    • bee

      LOL good one JBD

    • Jose

      JBD, that was awesome

    • DarkLayers

      The Leder, I don’t know. It sounds cool on paper, but the AMPAS has made a lot of bad choices, casting into doubt how cool is to win–baggy historical epics really aren’t that cool.

      • The Myth of the Oscars

        Five of the last six winners were smaller independent or arthouse films. Crash, Slumdog Millionaire, Million Dollar Baby, No Country for Old Men, and the Hurt Locker weren’t even close to be epics or historical films. Maybe you were referring to The Departed? Seriously, this whole “the Oscar always goes to…” argument doesn’t bear up in the more recent years. I guess you can consider Gladiator and Lord of the Rings III, but that’s only 20% of the winners from the past decade and that was from the earlier part of the decade. Do you even know who is in “the Academy?” Tarantino, Apatow, Anderson, Scorcese, and Corman to name a few. You know, a bunch of stodgy old men who make nothing but baggy historical epics and don’t know anything about cool movies.

      • DarkLayers

        Sir/Madam,
        That’s only because of the shifting landscape where tentpoles and indiewood predominate. The middle class of filmgoing has suffered from this trend, and that’s where a lot of the baggy historical epics came from. The trend in the last few years results from a lack of baggy historical epics in the Oscar mold rather than shifting tastes. As Sasha Stone put it, “Long live the Oscar movie.”

        And that’s not super duper cool.

      • DarkLayers

        The ineligibility thing makes it difficult to translate this into AMPAS success, but Nolan should still be happy and as a fan, I’m happy for him.

      • Niix Starkyller

        We can pontificate about the merits, or lack thereof, of the little golden man. However, snagging a lifelong date with him (sometimes even a flirtation) bumps box office, home sales, visibility in the industry, and generally prolongs careers. No one’s official bio nor any packaging (that I have seen) says, “…should have won an Oscar.” Flawed and politically bumpy as it is, the Oscar are still the perceived pinnacle of the craft. Getting one is still better than not. Don’t matter squat iffin we think it’s cool or not.

    • Nemo

      @JBD, so funny.

  • Dave

    Nice to see Inception win this award. However, I really don’t think this will have any bearing on the Oscars, seeing as how The King’s Speech was ineligible for the WGA.

    • Carol

      I wondered why it didn’t win.

    • thin

      I don’t know that it would have here, even if it would have been eligible. It’s winning much more on the strength of its acting performances than it is on its writing. I think this is one arena where Inception would still have had a big advantage.

      • Dave

        Inception does have a shot at the Oscar for Original Screenplay, but my money would still be on The King’s Speech. It has the most Oscar noms, and I think it will perform something of a mini sweep with the Original Screenplay award in its path.

  • fromMarkHall

    What was Social Network about again…Inception? How writerly.

  • Al Roberts

    I saw Inception on disc maybe two months ago and can’t remember a thing about it!

    • Highhopper

      But you do remember seeing the movie, right?

    • Boo Radley

      That’s because I went into your brain with a team of mind pirates and planted the idea that the movie wasn’t memorable.

      • Jose

        Classic

    • Liz Lemon

      I saw it in the theaters once. I haven’t bothered to watch the dvd and I have no urge to see it again.

      • AK

        Good for you! How does it feel to be so much better than all of us who actually liked the movie?

      • Liz Lemon

        @AK: I don’t think I’m better. lol. Just sayin it wasn’t my cup of tea.

  • Tina

    The King’s Speech will still (in my opinion) win Best Picture. The Social Nextwork was already a frontrunner for best adapted screenplay anyways.

  • james

    now if only inception can win best screenplay at the oscars

    • dee

      doubt it but I’m pulling for it ..

    • abc123

      Inception deserves the best writing oscar but it will loose to the kings speech sadly.

    • Boo Radley

      One can only hope.

      • james

        you never know.

  • Android.dreamer

    Inception had great direction, visual effects, and acting by Leonardo DiCaprio. What hurt the film tremendously was the script with its contradictory rule set.

    • Niix Starkyller

      Ehem — and a great original score, methinks.

      • Niix Starkyller

        “methinks”? Really, I need to stop posting while still *hic* …y’know.

      • Niix Starkyller

        Dude, go to bed. You’re talking to yourself. Well, I guess I’m talking to … but you’re the … go to bed!

  • Cajun_Dude

    Elliana,
    You’re just ripping off another letter I saw the other day…..

  • Jose

    Yeah, I thought Inception was OK, but I thought the screenplay was weak. Did it win because King’s speech was ineligible and to make up for Nolan’s snub?

  • Tugo

    Inception finally getting some of the recognition it deserves, but sadly it’ll probably lose at the oscars in the original screenplay to the much inferior “King’s Speech”

    • Liz Lemon

      Inferior? Ha! Inception is creative, but convoluted and I don’t think it achieved what Nolan wanted it to achieve. The story gets tiring after the first 1 hour, the characters are forgettable (I don’t remember one character’s name), and it’s purposefully confusing. Just Sayin’.

  • Anne

    Happy that Inception won, but King Speech is totally going to own the Oscar for best original screenplay.

  • efrain

    Christopher Nolan will win the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar!

    • Sam

      Original Screenplay. Not Adapted.

      • Elliana

        Adapted is right. The Cell, RapidEye. Lucid. Paprika. The matrix. Dark City. Liquid Dreams. eXiStEnCe. a friggin’ Scrooge McDuck comic strip. These were all “homaged” by Nolan (Yeah, right)
        In any case, Nolan only won because King’s Speech was ineligible.

      • Matías

        Elliana, get a life.

      • Webster Coogan

        Don’t forget the Bugs Bunny cartoon that featured some dream hijacking. In any case, Inception is a very interesting phenomenon: A well-made film that deservedly became a big box office hit and for a li’l while became a buzz-worthy event. Yet, six months later, and in spite of all the Oscar nods, nobody remembers it, except for us film fans and geeks. Goes to show that a quality film that’s also a commercial hit won’t necessarily become iconic or be memorable. So many factors involved in that, but in this case, I think audiences admired the film as a triumph of the craft of making movies, a purely technical achievement, but since the film had no emotional resonance, people simply moved on.

  • George

    The king’s speech wasnt eligible for this award for some weird reason, so dont get your hopes up about Nolan winning an oscar.

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