Oscar Contenders

2014 WGA Nominations Find 'Llewyn Davis' Snubbed Again, 'Dallas Buyers Club' Gains Momentum

Could the Coens' new film be slipping that badly?

2014 WGA Awards nominees
Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
Photo: Focus Features

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has announced the nominees for the 2014 WGA Awards and, as always, there will be Oscar contending screenplays that weren't eligible due to WGA qualifying rules. This year some of the ineligible scripts include 12 Years a Slave, Rush, Fruitvale Station and Philomena (via HitFix). The absence of such titles make the Oscar race a little more interesting, but if you think Lone Survivor is going to get a nomination (as much as I like seeing it recognized) over 12 Years a Slave guess again.

In fact, looking at the nominations compared to my current Oscar predictions for Adapted and Original Screenplay you're going to find few differences.

In the Original category the biggest difference is yet another snub for Inside Llewyn Davis, which was looked over yesterday by the Producers Guild and again today by the WGA, and once again, in its place we find Dallas Buyers Club, which has gained some serious momentum in the last 48 hours.

In the Adapted category the only difference between my predictions and these nominations is the aforementioned Lone Survivor nomination in the place of John Ridley ineligible 12 Years a Slave script, which is currently my frontrunner to win the Oscar.

I have included the complete list of original, adapted and documentary nominations below. Winners will be honored at the 2014 Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York City.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • American Hustle - Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures
  • Blue Jasmine - Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
  • Dallas Buyers Club - Written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack; Focus Features
  • Her - Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.
  • Nebraska - Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • August: Osage County - Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company
  • Before Midnight - Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Classics
  • Captain Phillips - Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures
  • Lone Survivor - Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures
  • The Wolf of Wall Street - Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

  • Dirty Wars - Written by Jeremy Scahill and David Riker; Sundance Selects
  • Herblock – The Black and the White - Written by Sara Lukinson and Michael Stevens; The Stevens Company
  • No Place on Earth - Written by Janet Tobias and Paul Laikin; Magnolia Pictures
  • Stories We Tell - Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks - Written by Alex Gibney; Focus Features
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  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Hudsucker/ Hudsucker

    Woah. I can understand the producers snubbing Llewyn, but the writers. That is very surprising. Also, why is John Ridley's scrip ineligible?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

      Per The Wrap it's because he's a non-voting member of the WGA.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    Two misses in a row isn't a good sign for Llewyn Davis. I haven't seen the film yet but I'm still a little surprised; it's looking more and more like a fringe nominee at best. I think Her is the ultimate Oscar winner for Original Screenplay, while Adapted will probably go to whichever of American Hustle or 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture as I see those two essentially in a tie for favorite right now. I do still think Nebraska is lurking and Saving Mr. Banks is so Academy friendly that I can't bring myself to count it out yet. Cuaron has become my frontrunner for Best Director no matter what happens, but Gravity isn't winning Best Picture at the Oscars, though it may well win at the Globes and even the Critics' Choice.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/PzyKo/ Max

      American Hustle is original.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

        Oof. Scratch that theory then. Clearly I wasn't paying attention.

    • GobleGableOneOfUs

      I feel like you're basing the Best Director win for Cuaron off of Lee's Life of Pi win last year, of course I maybe wrong. While I wouldn't be surprised at that, I still think because of the awards so far that McQueen is almost destined to win it.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

        That's part of it, but it's also the fact that the Best Picture race still doesn't have a a clear favorite. Now if 12 Years a Slave sweeps the Globes next weekend and McQueen wins Best Director there I might change my tune. But for now it just feels like there is a subset of people who thought Gravity was the greatest cinematic experience of the last several years, and while the Academy hasn't been willing to give Best Picture to a big budget tentpole in a long time, last year showed they were willing to give Best Director to such a movie. I know it was a weird year with Affleck not being nominated, but the more traditional route and would have been to just give it to Spielberg, but they didn't. Also Cuaron did win Best Director from several critics organizations. I know they don't vote for the Oscars, but I just feel like overall he's the candidate with the most buzz. And that's from someone who finds Gravity massively overrated in every way.

        • GobleGableOneOfUs

          12 Years has a legit chance for Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress (I'd say she's a lock for this at this point), and imo has the one unlikely dark horse to possibly steal Supporting from Leto. I also find Gravity overrated, though wouldn't mind if it won for Editing. But yeah you're right about the buzz for Cuaron it does seem to be a two horse race between the two with McQueen having the lead. If it were me, I would give it to Payne.

      • Geri

        Lee won for his masterful work because he made an incredibly complex book ("Life of Pi") into a beautiful film that spoke to adults. He did not dumb it down, but rather made some points more clear. Although a child could comprehend "Gravity's" source material, and while we've all seen lost in space films before, Cuaron's film is also a work of beauty.

  • bosrove17

    wowow, was Gravity snubbed too, or was it ineligible?

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3769949/ thatpj

      No, just awful

    • Geri

      Similar to "Avatar", "Gravity" is a feast for the eyes but the story is quite weak. "Avatar" was not (correctly) nominated for screenplay either. The difference is James Cameron is known for poorly-conceived screenplays (i.e. "Titanic"); while Alfonso Cuaron is not.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

    Can someone elaborate what the rules for eligibility are for nominations for WGA?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/jinjuriki187/ jinjuriki187

    not good, this movie is far to good to be getting these snubs

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3769949/ thatpj

    David O Russell is gonna be winning a lot of awards this year

  • robotsrule

    Yeah I don't get it. "Inside" is my #2 for the year.

  • http://hauntedbyhumans.wordpress.com J.R.Meehl

    I'm not worried about it. Hustle, Her, Nebraska and Dallas have excellent writing. And Blue Jasmine does as well, Davis will be around in Oscar time, at least for Best Picture.

  • Geri

    When are you going to predict the documentary nominees Brad? If I didn't know better I'd say you were waiting for Price Waterhouse... :)

  • Geri

    "The Wolf of Wall Street" is by far the best-written screenplay of the year. Errors, such as "he put a ring on it" and she "went missing" in a movie set in 1979 eliminates "American Hustle" and the repeated mentions of "condoms" in "Inside Llewyn Davis" (a film set in 1961) is like nails on a chalkboard to a writer. Sometimes time-sensitive dialogue needs to be changed so that the audience will understand something. But "he married her", "disappeared" and "rubbers" are all terms still in use today.