Oscar Contenders

'Django', 'Les Miserables', 'Beasts' and 'Amour' Among Screenplays Ineligible for WGA Award

Does this hurt their Oscar chances?

Django Unchained Screenplay Cover SheetWhile the precursor awards help predict the Oscars each year as momentum can be seen for any given film, there are factors to take into consideration when looking at these pre-Oscar awards.

One such factor comes into play when looking at the Writers Guild Awards in an attempt to predict what screenplays will be nominated for Best Original and Adapted Screenplay. However, when you're looking at the WGA nominees, which will be announced on January 3, there are going to be at least 16 films you shouldn't expect to see.

Ineligible for what are likely to be a number of reasons, the most likely will be because the screenwriter is not a member of the WGA (Quentin Tarantino for example). Beyond that, films made outside of guild guidelines, which can sometimes involve animated and foreign films, may also find themselves off the list.

Kris Tapley at HitFix offers up a list of screenplays that won't be under consideration from the WGA.

Original Screenplays

  • Amour
  • Brave
  • Django Unchained
  • The Impossible
  • The Intouchables
  • Middle of Nowhere
  • Seven Psychopaths
  • Take This Waltz
  • Your Sister's Sister

Adapted Screenplays

  • Anna Karenina
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • The Deep Blue Sea
  • Les Misérables
  • Quartet
  • Rust and Bone

While this can be looked at as a blow to a film's momentum, not being nominated by the WGA doesn't always mean you won't be recognized at the Oscars. Despite not being a member Tarantino saw Inglourious Basterds nominated in 2009 and, while not eligible for a WGA Award, The King's Speech went on to win in 2010. Speaking of 2010, Winter's Bone, Toy Story 3 and Another Year were all ineligible for a WGA Award only to go on to be nominated anyway.

Last year, Oscar nominees not eligible for the WGA award included The Artist, A Separation and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Interesting as it may be to see what films are ineligible for the WGA award, all I can think of is that here is yet this is another instance where Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour won't get a chance for recognition. Pete Hammond at Deadline may say Emmanuelle Riva's name is "usually the first one out of the mouth of the Academy's female actors" when he asks about the Best Actress category, but if the film continues to be overlooked such as it was at the SAGs and Golden Globes, will enough Academy members even take notice once it comes time to turn in their nominations?

SIDE NOTE: If you haven't done so yet, click here and check out 29 of the screenplays competing for an Oscar this year and download as many as you like. Go ahead, they're free.

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  • Jack

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

    1. Lincoln
    2. Silver Linings Playbook
    3. Argo
    4. Life of Pi
    5. This is 40

  • Torryz

    Also Tarantino won the Oscar for the screenplay for Pulp Fiction.

  • http://www.fullyoperational.tumblr.com dre

    Anyone know why QT isn't a WGA member?

    • Luke

      He said in the past that he wants to maintain an "Amateur Status"

      • http://www.fullyoperational.tumblr.com dre


  • Winchester

    I don't think it hurts any of the films chances since it appears to be a WGA Rules of Eligibility issue. If those issues or criteria don't exist under the Academy then it doesn't really mean much outside the WGA itself.

  • Geri

    Year after year we have this same problem with writers not being members of the WGA. Why aren't these people members of the union? Actors have to be members of SAG and AFTRA; while directors have to be members of the DGA, etc.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Actually, directors don't have to join the DGA, I do believe you are right about actors though.