Yesterday the Writers Guild announced its nominees for the best screenplays of 2011.
“The Artist” was not on the list.
Now you might think it understandable that an American institution didn’t nominate a script with no dialogue written by a French guy (writer-director Michel Hazanavicius).
But in truth, “The Artist” likely wasn’t on the list because it did not qualify under the Guild’s rules. Other films that didn’t qualify: “Take Shelter,” “Drive,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Beginners,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” Why? Because they weren’t produced under a Guild contract.
As a result, many of the year’s best films were shut out of the race. So much for the Writers Guild awards.
By me “The Artist” was the best screenplay of the year precisely because it didn’t have any spoken dialogue. To reel off such an effective film based mostly on physicality and imagery is pretty impressive, especially while paying tribute to so many who did precisely the same thing decades ago.
This likely won’t be the first time rules get in the way of recognition this year. The esoteric best picture nominating process for the Oscars is pure headache material.
But here are the WGA nominees:
- “50/50,” Written by Will Reiser; Summit Entertainment
- “Bridesmaids,” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig; Universal Studios
- “Midnight in Paris,” Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
- “Win Win,” Screenplay by Tom McCarthy; Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni; Fox Searchlight
- “Young Adult,” Written by Diablo Cody; Paramount Pictures
- “The Descendants,” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemming; Fox Searchlight
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian; Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, originally published by Norstedts; Columbia Pictures
- “The Help,” Screenplay by Tate Taylor; Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett; DreamWorks Pictures
- “Hugo,” Screenplay by John Logan; Based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; Paramount Pictures
- “Moneyball,” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin; Based on the book by Michael Lewis; Columbia Pictures
- “Better This World,” Written by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega; Loteria Films
- “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front,” Written by Marshall Curry and Matthew Hamachek; Oscilloscope Pictures
- “Nostalgia for the Light,” Written by Patricio Guzmán; Icarus Films
- “Pina,” Screenplay by Wim Wenders; Sundance Selects
- “Position Among the Stars,” Script by Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich, Leonard Retel Helmrich; HBO Films
- “Senna,” Written by Manish Pandey; Producers Distribution Agency