Spike Jonze’s philosophical sci-fi love story Her, and Billy Ray’s harrowing true-life hostage saga Captain Phillips earned best original and adapted screenplays, respectively, from the Writers Guild Awards on Saturday.
In the original category, Her was facing its four rivals for the Oscar: American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, and Nebraska, so its victory can be seen as a strong harbinger of where the Academy Award could go on March 2. In anecdotal sampling of Academy members, EW’s Prize Fighter has also determined that Her is far and away the front-runner for this category.
The WGA’s predictive powers are less assured in the adapted category, since guild rules excluded some top Oscar contenders this year.
Last year, it was Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained — the eventual Oscar winner — that was left off the WGA original screenplay list due to its writer not being a member of the guild. This year, the leading contender for adapted screenplay — John Ridley’s 12 Years a Slave, taken from Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir — was deemed ineligible, along with Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope’s Philomena.
Both are on the Oscar list. But only Before Midnight and The Wolf of Wall Street joined Captain Phillips on both lists of nominees. Instead of Slave and Philomena, the WGA had Lone Survivor and August: Osage County.
So while it was a good night for Captain Phillips, it’s not necessarily an indicator of things to come. Most Academy members tell EW that 12 Years a Slave is their first choice.
For more Oscar news:
The full list …
Original Screenplay: Her, Spike Jonze
Adapted Screenplay: Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Documentary: Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley
TV Drama Series: Breaking Bad, written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett.
TV Comedy Series: Veep, written by Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Tony Roche, Will Smith
New TV Series: House of Cards, written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon.
Single Drama Episode: “Confessions” (Breaking Bad), Gennifer Hutchison
Single Comedy Espisode: “Hogcock!” (30 Rock), written by Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock
Longform Adapted: Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, written by Shawn Slovo, based on the book by Howard Bingham and Max Wallace
Short Form New Media — Original: “Episode 4: The Collected Sylvia” (Sylvia Plath: Girl Detective), Mike Simses; sylviaplathgirldetective.com
Animation: “A Test Before Trying” (The Simpsons), Joel H. Cohen
Comedy/Variety/Talk Series: The Colbert Report, Writers: Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Michael Brumm, Nate Charny, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Gabe Gronli, Dan Guterman, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Bobby Mort, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner
Awards/Tributes/Specials: Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, Head Writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts; Writers: Alex Rubens, Charlie Sanders
Game Show: Jeopardy!, written by John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse
Daytime Drama: Days of Our Lives, written by Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Christopher J. Whitesell.
Children’s TV: “influANTces” (A.N.T. Farm), Vincent Brown
Documentary — Current Events: “Egypt in Crisis” (Frontline), written by Marcela Gaviria & Martin Smith
Documentary — Feature News: TIE
– “The Choice 2012” (Frontline), Michael Kirk
– “Silicon Valley” (American Experience), telescript by Randall MacLowry and Michelle Ferrari; story by Randall MacLowry.
News: “Tragedy at Newtown” Special Edition (ABC World News with Diane Sawyer), written by Lisa Ferri and Matt Negrin.
News — Feature or Analysis: “Lethal Medicine” (60 Minutes), written by Michael Rey, Oriana Zill de Granados, Michael Radutzky.
Radio Documentary: “2012 Year in Review,” written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News
Radio News: “Afternoon Drive,” written by Bill Spadaro; CBS Radio/1010
Radio News — Feature: “Remembering C. Everett Koop,” Scott Saloway; CBS Radio News
Promotional Writing: “The Crazy Ones — Building a Better Comedy,” Erial Tompkins
TV Graphic Art & Animation: CBS News Animations: “Brain Injury,” “Pills,” “Bionic Leg,” “Midland Parade,” “Concordia Salvage;” Animation by David Rosen.
Videogame: The Last of Us, Written by Neil Druckmann