The Writers Guild of America (WGA) were handed out their annual awards Saturday night and it was Billy Ray the somewhat surprising winner of the Adapted Screenplay award for Sony’s Captain Phillips, while Spike Jonze took the Original Screenplay honor for Warner Bros’ Her.
The third big winner is Sarah Polley’s screenplay for the documentary Stories We Tell, the film which was not nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar.
On the TV side, ‘Breaking Bad‘ won for Best Drama Series and Episodic Drama.
Her beat out its main competitor American Hustle, with fellow nominees Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, and Nebraska also in the running; the other two awards heavyweights, 12 Years a Slave (ineligible) and Gravity (a more visually driven film), weren’t nominated.
Captain Phillips emerged victorious in the Adapted category race over August: Osage County, Before Midnight, Lone Survivor, and The Wolf of Wall Street in a mild surprise.
Last year, the Best Adapted WGA screenplay matched up with Oscar (Chris Terrio for Argo), while the Best Original screenplay did not (Mark Boal won for Zero Dark Thirty here while Quentin Tarantino won for Django Unchained at the Academy Awards after being ruled ineligible by the WGA)
• 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
• 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
• 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