Flight, Written by John Gatins; Paramount Pictures
Looper, Written by Rian Johnson; TriStar Pictures
The Master, Written by Paul Thomas Anderson; The Weinstein Company
Moonrise Kingdom, Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola; Focus Features
Zero Dark Thirty, Written by Mark Boal; Columbia Pictures


Argo, Screenplay by Chris Terrio; Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman; Warner Bros. Pictures
Life of Pi, Screenplay by David Magee; Based on the novel by Yann Martel; 20th Century Fox
Lincoln, Screenplay by Tony Kushner; Based in part on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin; DreamWorks Pictures
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky; Based on his book; Summit Entertainment
Silver Linings Playbook, Screenplay by David O. Russell; Based on the novel by Matthew Quick; The Weinstein Company


The Central Park Five, Written by Sarah Burns and David McMahon and Ken Burns; Sundance Selects
The Invisible War, Written by Kirby Dick; Cinedigm Entertainment Group
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
Searching for Sugar Man, Written by Malik Bendejelloul; Sony Pictures Classics
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, Written by Brian Knappenberger; Cinetic Media
West of Memphis, Written by Amy Berg & Billy McMillin; Sony Pictures Classics

The Writers Guild will announce their winners some time this morning. Usually those come out around 10am.  This is one of those years where many of the most talked about scripts aren’t eligible for the WGA. And it doesn’t really matter anyway since these nominations won’t have been released in time to effect Oscar votes.


I think it might go (taking this from an earlier piece called WGA Preview):

The strongest contenders for original screenplay are:
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty (probably for the win)
Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Nicolas Jarecki, Arbitrage
Rian Johnson, Looper
John Gatins, Flight
Alt. John Krasinski, Matt Damon, Promised Land

But the Academy might add to original screenplay:
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ava DuVernay, Middle of Nowhere
Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano, The Intouchables

Predicted Adapted Screenplays:
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
Chris Terrio, Argo
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
David Magee, Life of Pi
Stephen Chbosky, Perks of Being a Wallflower
Alts. Christopher, Jonathan Nolan, the Dark Knight Rises and Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan for Skyfall

And those that aren’t eligible that could squeeze into the adaptation category (but it’s a crowded category already with eligible screenplays):
Benh Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar, Beasts of the Southern Wild
William Nicholson, Les Miserables

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  • Jerry

    The WGA’s disqualify so many off the bat that it’s never as fun or predictive looking at their nomations.

    For Original:
    Moonrise Kingdom

    Silver Linings Playbook
    Life of Pi
    Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Anna Karenina (can’t remember if eligible or not)

  • Jose Ramon

    Best Original Screenplay

    – Zero Dark Thirty
    – Looper
    – Moonrise Kingdom
    – The Master
    – Flight

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    – Argo
    – Lincoln
    – Silver Linings Playbook
    – Life of Pi
    – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Adapted
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Life of Pi
    Silver Linings

    Zero Dark Thirty
    The Master
    Moonrise Kingdom

  • Kane

    I’d take Arbitrage out and put The Master in. PTA is a pretty acclaimed writer by the industry.

  • Aragorn

    For adapted, Lincoln should win, even today before announcements (my opinion).
    For original, I wish Looper or Moonrise Kingdom would win.

  • Jerry

    Can’t believe I left Argo out (so confusing who is eligible), replacing Anna Karenina with Argo:
    Moonrise Kingdom

    Silver Linings Playbook
    Life of Pi
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Zach

    –Zero Dark Thirty
    –Moonrise Kingdom
    –The Master

    With Oscars replacing Arbitrage and Looper with Django Unchained and Amour.

    –Silver Linings Playbook
    –Life of Pi

    With Beasts of the Southern Wild replacing Skyfall for the Oscars.

  • FTR

    The Cabin in the Woods
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Zero Dark Thirty

    Life of Pi
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Silver Linings Playbook

  • Gentle Benj

    Paddy, if The Cabin in the Woods was nominated today, I would piss my pants. Hell, I’d piss EVERYONE’s pants.

  • PaulH

    So much for 10am. Probably should have written 10am PST.

  • Reno


    Zero Dark Thirty
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Promised Land

    Silver Linings Playbook
    Life of Pi
    Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Zooey

    1. Zero Dark Thirty
    2. The Master
    3. Moonrise Kingdom
    4. Arbitrage
    5. Looper

    1. Lincoln
    2. Argo
    3. Silver Linings Playbook
    4. Life of Pi
    5. Skyfall

  • Tero Heikkinen

    This is the Guild I’m least interested in, for the reason we all know. This predicts dick. But, yeah, where’s PTA, eligible or not?

  • PaulH

    NGNG: Hunger Games, Adapted Screenplay.

  • Gosh, PaulH, relax! This post was written by Sasha. If she writes, 10am, take it as 10am PST.

    I live in GMT. That’s eight hours’ difference. I haven’t complained once about how times are written on this site, and they’ve never been correct for my time zone. Get over it.

  • PaulH

    These are the same WGA that did right by Avatar in nominating it for original screenplay. As it should have been with Oscar.

  • Gentle Benj

    Avatar LULZ.

  • PJ

    I am mentally preparing for a Master snub here.

  • Isn’t The Master a strongest contender for OS?
    It’s amazing how Sasha hates PTA/PTA’ movies.
    I still remember… the same happened whit There Will Be Blood.

  • PaulH

    Legit ? here ; I understand Hunger Games in adapted screenplay, but why would TDKR and The Avengers be in here and not original?

  • Gentle Benj

    “It’s amazing how Sasha hates PTA/PTA’ movies.
    I still remember… the same happened whit There Will Be Blood.”

    Then we’ve got a real Rashomon thing going here, cos that’s not how I remember it.

  • Jose Ramon

    No Guts No Glory

    The Cabin in the Woods for Original Screenplay
    The Dark Knight Rises for Adapted Screenplay

  • PJ

    Well that crisis was averted and yay for Perks and Looper!

  • PaulH

    Congrats to Looper for making it. Perks of Being a Wallflower? Winner of the “I didn’t expect that nominee” contest.

  • Christophe

    I’m not surprised Sasha did so well at predicting the WGA, they’re the snobbishest voting body out there.

  • Free

    Oh God, what was so great about the Flight script?

  • Daveylow

    Except for The Master, which had a screenplay that went nowhere, I like these nominations very much.

    If I were voting I would choose Moonrise Kingdom and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

  • Gentle Benj

    Well… there are your five Adapted nominees I guess. Exact same lineup as the Critics’ Choice, and every nominee, winner and runner-up from the Globes, NBR, LAFCA and NYFCC came from those five as well.

    Original, on the other hand, is HARD. AMOUR is exactly the kind of consensus-building foreign-language film that gets into this category, regardless of guild support (or eligibility). And it’s hard to imagine Tarantino not getting the nod. But who gets bumped? FLIGHT seems most vulnerable, I guess, but I really think LOOPER is safer than most people think it is. I’m gonna be changing my picks in this category right down to the wire.

  • Luis

    Looper and Perks for the win!!!

  • Christophe

    Moonrise and Pi for the win!!!

  • Gentle Benj

    CABIN IN THE WOODS and beer for the Benj!

  • Jerry

    I didn’t think The Master would make it due to all the snubbing so far. Right on!

  • Perfect noms.
    My heart is full of love gor The Master. and Perks. <3
    And very happy for Looper and Argo too.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Sasha does not hate PTA, on the contrary. I guess PTA just slipped her mind, or she thought that the film is even “deader” than many of us think. I still think that The Master’s going to be a major player at the Oscars (maybe not BP, and definitely not BD, unfortunately, but many other categories).

  • Unlikely hood

    Best of the eligible. Well done WGA

  • Aragorn

    Good nominations…I hope this will end all that “first african american female screenwriter nominee” story!

    I hope for Lincoln and Looper wins, but would be fine with Moonrise Kingdom too.

  • Unlikely hood

    Gentle Benj your comment plus your Groening icon reminds me of the episode where the Simpsons go to Japan:

    Marge “but you loved Rashomon!”

    Homer “that’s not how I remember it”

  • Oh God, what was so great about the Flight script?

    Not much in particular, it was just that most of the great screenplays were ineligible!

    Yeah, Sasha does not hate PTA. Note that I didn’t predict him either – expecting a guild shut-out for The Master in most places – and I don’t hate him at all! And with There Will Be Blood, I always interpreted Sasha’s response to that as that she loved it, but not as much as No Country for Old Men, and initially didn’t expect the Academy to warm to it. Over many threads on this site, I’ve noted her love for The Master, but lack of faith in it as an awards contender. Which is fair enough.

  • phantom

    I really hope that this will be the Adapted Screenplay lineup at the Oscars, too, mainly because I’m now starting to believe ‘Perks’ could actually make the cut (and that would make me very happy), but I guess the Academy could opt for someone who wasn’t eligible here, like the Zeitlin/Alibar duo or the legendary Tom Stoppard.

    And as far as Original Screenplay go, probably at least one of the identical WGA/BFCA quintet has to go to make room for Django Unchained, and maybe even two if Amour makes the cut which is a very strong possibility in my opinion. So which two ? Looper, Flight ?

  • Sato

    Looper and Argo please…

    Glad they nominated the talented Rian Johnson! Such an underrated talent. He deserves this nod for both Brick and The Brothers Bloom… Looper is quite a big film to snub… Hope it continues thru the Oscars!

  • Free

    @phantom: Yes, exactly those two. It’ll be DJANGO & AMOUR in place of FLIGHT & LOOPER, with Zero, Moonrise and The Master likely coasting in. I’d actually prefer Looper in place of The Master, as I found the former to be very original and the latter to be among the most frustrating scripts of 2012.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I had to compare this with my final Oscar predictions and Adapted matches, Original does not:

    Best Original Screenplay
    Michael Haneke, Amour
    Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
    Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
    Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
    Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty

    Best Adapted Screenplay
    Chris Terrio, Argo
    David Magee, Life of Pi
    Tony Kushner, Lincoln
    Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

  • The Master is a brilliant, dense script. I challenge anyone who disagrees to actually read the screenplay.

    That said, I would vote for Looper and Perks if I had a vote.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    the fuck! I need space for AMOUR and DJANGO UNCHAINED at the Oscars but only want to drop FLIGHT…I can’t bring myself to decide who else gets the boot from that group :/

  • Manolo

    So happy for The Master!!!!!!!!!
    I hope that PTA get the Academy Award nomination, though its very unlikely…

  • Mike

    So glad The Perks of Being a Wallflower was nominated.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Tarantino said on Howard Stern Show that he was really pissed off that he lost to Boal a few years ago. Redux? He wouldn’t be mad if his friend PTA won, though.

  • I mentioned on my blog that this could be the year when all the big Original Screenplays awards go to Wes Anderson. Moonrise doesn’t have any other decent shots at a win – this might be its consolation prize / recognition for an American auteur who has gone largely unrecognised by the top institutions throughout his career and who is riding his biggest hit yet.

    Wes Anderson is overdue, in many people’s eyes. Mark Boal and Quentin Tarantino have both won before.

  • JamDenTel

    FLIGHT’s script was weak and easily the worst part of the film; the ending was especially heavy-handed and unbelievable. I can only hope it doesn’t get an Oscar nomination.

  • keifer

    The list WGA gave us this morning was fairly predictable, with only one surprise really.

    I agree with Paul above . . . I was a little shocked to see “Flight” listed in the original screenplay category. Denzel is certainly a contender for Best Actor in this film . . . but for writing ? ? ? Nah. “Django Unchained” would be a better choice.

  • Film Fatale


    By what standards of measuring is Flight’s screenplay “weak and easily the worst part of the film” exactly?

    The structure of the screenplay is actually bold and surprising (including the scene with John Goodman near the end) as well as the suggestion that Denzel’s character may function better on substances than off them. It is not at all “weak” in any way, particularly in the final scenes where it is actually strongest. His moment of surrender, when he finally hits bottom during the scene with Melissa Leo, is expertly written. Expertly.

  • Zetto M.

    ‘Perks’ for an Oscar Nod!!!!!……. And hopefully Django!! XDD

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Paddy, I feel the other Anderson has also gone largely unrecognised and The Master has next to no chances winning anywhere else.

    Sure, Moonrise Kingdom is Wes’ biggest hit and The Master is far from PTA’s.

    But what great writer-directors we have possibly being nominated in the same category. I mean both Andersons, Tarantino and Haneke. Too much in one year.

  • Zetto M.

    They’re some great selections ferr sure. Seems like there are plenty of certain films which are airtight and sure fire to garner specific nominations they deserve to get… Definitely an appeasing year ATM, let’s keep it rollin’.

  • JP

    I think only Flight is going to leave for the Oscars. The rest will be the same. The adapted screenplay will be this. Les Mis has absolutely no shot at a script nomination. I just don’t imagine Beasts/Pi nominated together. As Pi seems more popular, I think Beasts is out but takes a BP nomination a-la-Tree of Life. The Perks deserves the nom. So does Looper. And this are their likely solo nomination. For Perks definitely it’s its only shot. Looper has a remote shot at tech categories, that are crowded this year.

    Beasts score nomination will kind of honor the script too because I thought that score was so great that it really conduces the film.

  • Gentle Benj,

    I remember Sasha doing a massive campaign for No country for old man, against There Will Be Blood.
    Am I wrong?

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Adapted is going for Lincoln in the end anyway, this is almost certain. So, Original is going to be the very exciting one. Maybe even the most exciting category of the evening. I can actually see Haneke winning (in the style of Almodóvar) if he gets in. They might have a trouble choosing between the American nominees, and there it goes…

  • “I remember Sasha doing a massive campaign for No country for old man, against There Will Be Blood.”

    Rightly believing that No Country for Old Men should and would win BP and BD over There Will Be Blood is not exactly the same thing as “hating Paul Thomas Anderson’s movies.”

  • moviewatcher

    Ryan: Then why isn’t she campaigning against Argo this year? Then Why isn’t she campaigning for THE MASTER this year, which has no chance at winning BP over Lincoln and would only benefit from a stronger campaign?

  • Perhaps there will be a separate post on this, but maybe there won’t be. But I just received my copy of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY today, and there’s an elaborate prsentation with the usual great photos on the Oscar race, with predictions in the major categories by Anthony Breznican.

    In that pivotal Best Director race the author argues that Hooper will get in, but just barely, being ‘the most vulnerable’ to what he sees as a challenge from P.T. Anderson and Haneke.


    Best Picture:

    Zero Dark Thirty
    Les Miserables
    Silver Linings Playbook
    The Life of Pi
    Moonrise Kingdom







    Sup. Actor:

    De Niro

    Sup. Actress:


    Also, screenplay nods are predicted, with no surprises.

  • JP

    Campaigning for X doesn’t mean that you don’t like who directed Y. Sasha also campaigned for 2008 Les Mis’ The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I always read good things here about Danny Boyle.

  • Not to be controversial, but that’s a fact. EVERYONE CAN SEE. Of course we are passionate and have our preferences. But in my view Sasha often exaggerates. And I think it´s not fair on a site so recognized.
    This clearly happened in the case NCFOM vs. TWBB and last year with The King’s Speech vs. The Social Network.
    Just saying …

  • You guys do realize that There Will Be Blood and The Master are not identical movies, right?

    Is it not possible to like one of those movies more than the other one?

    I do not like Django. But that doesn’t mean I hate Tarantino movies.

    Let’s just try to avoid making sweeping assumptions, is all I’m saying, ok?

  • This clearly happened in the case NCFOM vs. TWBB

    Back it up, Fabinho. Once you prove it, I’ll concede. But you seem to be on your own with this atm.

  • Linc4jess

    I am interesting to see what The Scripters list will look like. I see where the Denver Film Critics got it right. Film “There Will Be Blood” was a great film. Loved it. Can’t say the same about “The Master” which is one hell of a mess in all respects. Come to think of it I can’t even remember what it was all about. The only thing I remember is all those ugly unnecessary gratuitous nudity and sexual scenes and I story that went nowhere. Actors did do a good job of reading their lines though and Amy Adams looks as out of place as a sheep in a herd of cattle.

  • SallyinChicago

    Happy that Flight got some love.

  • Linc4jess

    You all leave Sasha Stone alone. Quit picking on here. She has got the good sense to know that “Lincoln” is a great film and she even has “The Dark Knight Rises” on her list on the Gold Derby and MCN sites. Or she did. Anyone with this kind of film acumen should not be picked on.

  • yael

    The National Society of Film Critics just announced their winners.

    Best Picture: Holy Motors
    Best Director: Michael Haneke – Amour
    Best Screenplay: Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
    Best Actor: Denis Lavant – Holy Motors
    Best Supporting Actress: Helen Hunt – The Sessions
    Best Supporting Actor: Garrett Hedlund – On the Road
    Best Cinematography: The Impossible
    Best Non-fiction Film: The Gatekeepers
    Best Foreign Language Film: Holy Motors

  • steve50

    *happy dancing all over the place*

    Bless the NSFC!

  • yael, where did you find that?

  • steve50

    I think he made it up – nothing about it anywhere else.

    Oh well, I needed the exercise.

  • William F.

    A little surprised that Arbitrage didn’t get in there. Although I wouldn’t exactly complain on what did get nominated.

  • What I was thinking. Some of those don’t look right to me, like JLaw and Garrett Hedlund (oh how I wish, though). And I don’t think they’d give both Picture and Foreign Language Film to the same film. That’s not their style.

  • Linc4jess

    Meh, yawn. Just another film critic group award used as an excuse for a social gathering. Last year they chose “Melancholia” as best pic with Kristen Durst as best actress. I suppose this is just another award rewarding actors and actresses for being able to give a performance without any clothes on.

  • Just another film critic group award used as an excuse for a social gathering.

    The NSFC is one of the most prestigious critics groups in the world. And Kirsten Dunst is brilliant in Melancholia!


  • Jesse Crall

    Flight rules. Perfect, 70’s-style character examination a la Fat City or Five Easy Pieces. As Patton Oswalt said about Young Adult “It’s one of those, let’s follow a character’s journey DOWN.” I agree that it ended about 17 times but then so did Lincoln. Zero Dark 30 and Looper are the 2 flicks nommed above that really ended with knockouts.

  • kasper

    The NSFC is what I consider every year to be The Critic’s Choice Awards. But I can’t find anything about their choices for this year… is he making it up?

  • rufussondheim

    I know the WGA excludes some films every year, but for the life of me I don’t see what major film was excluded this year as all of the major players seem present.

  • mileshigh

    Yea for Hacktivists!

  • Linc4jess

    The NSFC is one of the most prestigious critics groups in the world. And Kirsten Dunst is brilliant in Melancholia


  • steve50

    Hollis Alpert, along with Pauline Kael and others, founded the National Society of Film Critics because they, or at least he, was barred from the NYFCC. It’s been around since the mid-sixties and is (or was) known for choosing a greater percentage of foreign films as Best Picture. They chose the high road as far as their tastes are concerned and never considered commercial accomplishment. They rarely agree with Oscar and have made very few questionable choices (although there are a few).

    In the 70’s, they put out a series of books (which I can’t find at the moment because they’re stored away) that taught me more about films than any of the other critics circles.

    So, “yawn” my ass – wake up.

  • The Japanese Viewer

    As a fan of Tarantino, himself also a talented scribe in my opinion, I wish for the matter related with it in future he would take time to give a serious thought to applying for the Writers Guild Membership.

    Just sayin’. . . .

  • Free

    “Is it not possible to like one of those movies more than the other one?”

    Absolutely possible, as I loved There Will Be Blood and really couldn’t bring myself to like The Master (definitely didn’t hate it, but I was incredibly frustrated by it).

    But you’re totally nuts for not loving Django, and I say that with love 🙂

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