This year’s nominations from the Writers Guild of America, which were announced Thursday, only further spotlight how unusual an awards season this is shaping up to be, with no clear front-runners and an eclectic group of films competing against one another.
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.
The nominees in the documentary category are “Betting on Zero,” written by Theodore Braun; “Jane,” written by Brett Morgan; “No Stone Unturned,” written by Alex Gibney; and “Oklahoma City,” written by Barak Goodman.
Every year a number of prominent screenplays are not eligible for nomination because the writer isn’t a member of the group or the production isn’t a guild signatory. This year the movies that were not eligible include Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Anthony McCarten’s “Darkest Hour” and the animated “Coco.”
Among adapted screenplays, Lee Hall’s “Victoria & Abdul” and Matt Greenhalgh’s “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” were not eligible for a guild nomination.
Eligible screenplays that failed to make the cut include a trio of movies that premiered late in the year: “The Post” and “Phantom Thread” (both original screenplays) and “All the Money in the World” (adapted).
While some may express surprise over the nomination of “Logan,” a dramatic entry in the ongoing adventures of the “X-Men” franchise, last year the WGA also recognized the script for “Deadpool,” a comic variation on the standard comic book adaptation. In 2015, the guild nominated the similarly irreverent “Guardians of the Galaxy.” However, neither screenplay went on to earn an Oscar nomination.
Last year, in both the original and adapted categories, three of the five WGA nominees went on to be nominated for an Oscar. There was additional confusion last year in that “Moonlight” and “Loving” competed in the original category at the WGA but were categorized as adapted for the Academy Awards.
“Moonlight” would go on to win the WGA award for original screenplay, with “Arrival” winning for adapted screenplay. At the Oscars, the awards went to “Manchester by the Sea” for original and “Moonlight” for adapted.
Winners of this year’s WGA awards will be announced on Feb. 11 with concurrent ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York City.