WGA Awards: More bad news for 'The Post'

WGA Awards: More bad news for 'The Post'
Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in "The Post." (Niko Tavernise)

Did the Writers Guild of America awards voters just not see the late-arriving “The Post” in enough numbers to reward it? Or is its omission a sign of awards-season trouble for Steven Spielberg’s period drama?

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.


I'm Glenn Whipp, The Times’ awards columnist and your newsletter host.

WGA nominations reward a diverse set of films

The Writers Guild announced its nominations Thursday.

The nominees for original screenplay are “The Big Sick,” written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani; “Get Out,” written by Jordan Peele; “I, Tonya,” written by Steven Rogers; “Lady Bird,” written by Greta Gerwig; and “The Shape of Water,” written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor.

The nominees for adapted screenplay are “Call Me by Your Name,” screenplay by James Ivory; “The Disaster Artist,” screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber; “Logan,” screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green; “Molly’s Game,” screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; and “Mudbound,” screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees.

Before you ask: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” wasn’t eligible, because the film wasn’t a guild signatory. Expect to see it among the Oscar nominees, though. Also ineligible: “Coco” and “Darkest Hour.” (I’m not expecting the academy to recognize either movie for writing.)

Last year, three of the five WGA nominees in each category went on to earn Oscar nominations. The percentages could be better this year, which would be bad news, as I mentioned, for “The Post.” Spielberg’s movie also failed to register with Screen Actors Guild voters, a stunning development for a group that has always worshipped Meryl Streep, who plays Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham in the film.

This could simply be a case of the movie screening too late before the guilds’ voting deadlines. The movie did score six Golden Globes nominations, and its profile could be raised should it win a trophy or two Sunday at the ceremony.

Right now, though, there’s a feeling the film has left many underwhelmed, particularly when compared with “Spotlight,” the 2015 journalism drama that won the best picture Oscar.

"Dunkirk" writer-director Christopher Nolan.
"Dunkirk" writer-director Christopher Nolan. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Christopher Nolan serves really good Earl Grey tea

But you probably knew that already about the tea. I spoke to the “Dunkirk” director on a wide range of subjects, including his belief in the power of the collective, his love for “Blade Runner" old and new, and why he thinks a 7-year-old is the perfect audience for Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Nolan has never been nominated for an Oscar as a director. If he somehow misses for “Dunkirk,” an acclaimed blockbuster that grossed $525 million worldwide, he may well never be nominated.

Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig at the recent Los Angeles Times' Envelope directors roundtable.
Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig at the recent Los Angeles Times' Envelope directors roundtable. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Which directors will join Nolan as Oscar nominees?

I also wrote about this year’s Oscar race for director, predicting Nolan, Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water” and Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards”) as the nominees.


I have McDonagh in the fifth slot, but it could just as easily be Luca Guadagnino for “Call Me by Your Name.” (Or Spielberg. By no means am I writing him off.) “Three Billboards” and “Call Me by Your Name” each have their fans. For Guadagnino’s film, it’s the intimacy; for McDonagh’s, the anger. Given the outrage that permeates our times, I’m giving the edge to anger.

Follow our Golden Globes coverage on Sunday

Will “Lady Bird” sweep all four of its categories? What movie will win in drama? And will the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. voters rubber-stamp the Emmys and reward “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Big Little Lies,” or will its members go their own way?

You can read my predictions here. For The Times’ complete Golden Globes coverage, head over here beginning Sunday.

‘Film Stars’ at Envelope Screening Series

Times film critic Justin Chang spoke with Annette Bening and Jamie Bell from the drama “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” as part of the Envelope Screening Series. When you hear Bening explain why she fell in love with actress Gloria Grahame, whom she plays in the film, you might too.


I’d love to hear from you. Email me at


Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.