"Family Guy" guy Seth MacFarlane will host the 2010 Writers Guild Awards (WGA) on Feb. 20.
MacFarlane issued one of the most witty-within-a-quote barbs in his acceptance. “I’m honored and humbled to be chosen as host of the WGAW awards," MacFarlane said in a (written, of course) statement. "I look forward to catching up with my strike buddies from 2007, and making some new strike buddies for 2011." Spoken with the hubris that only a guy with hit shows falling out of his pockets can muster.
This isn't wholly unexpected here at Movie Smackdown given that I actually attended the TV Academy's Hall of Fame awards last week where MacFarlane was a stand-out speaker (looking more polished that most of the actors) when he presented the posthumous award to Gene Roddenberry. The producer of the WGA awards, Spike Jones Jr. (not that Spike Jonze) was in the audience. Maybe he saw the same thing and said, "Why not?"
So… to recap… the winners for
outstanding achievement in writing for the screen during the past year will be honored in a few more weeks — Saturday, February 20. Our Movie Smackdown poll winners will be announced on February 17, predicting the actual winners with uncanny accuracy, and thus spoiling all sense of surprise. You won't want to miss that act of defiance!
For that promised poll, and some written words of wisdom from Smackdown co-editor Sherry Coben… read on…
No one could ever call the Writers Guild Awards predictable.
Even the most enthusiastic Avatar
booster admits to having some issues with that film’s script (or
at least, with the occasionally clumsy dialogue). The brilliantly scripted In
the Loop makes for a glaring omission that
can be explained; the film was not included in the list of candidates for
Original screenplays nods are certainly original and
surprising this year; all-over-the-map choices vary in tone from lightest to
darkest. Nominated screenplays include: light romantic comedy of (500) Days of Summer, gross-out funny with a heart of gold The
Hangover, ambitiously epic Avatar, searing war drama in The Hurt Locker, and the equivocating comic-spiritual journey of A
Serious Man. Comedies may be ignored by
other awards, but writers know better than anyone. Comedy is hard.
Adapted screenplay nominations include obvious choices from
industry darlings Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia) and Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) and the clumsily titled Precious: Based on the novel Push by
Sapphire. Joining them in the race are two slightly darker horses, Crazy Heart and Star
These WGA nominations may not be the tip-off to the eventual Oscar picks because several high-profile films that might ordinarily get a nom — like Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," Nick Hornby's "An Education," and Tom Ford and David Scearce's "A Single Man" — didn't qualify because they weren't filmed under the WGA's contract or covered by guilds in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand. Why they weren't, well, that's another post.
Vote for your favorite screenplay (or at least your perception of the writing)…not your favorite film. There is a difference. Here are the two polls: for original and adaptation.
(500) Days of Summer, Written by Scott Neustadter &
Michael H. Weber; Fox Searchlight
Avatar, Written by James Cameron; 20th Century Fox
The Hangover, Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore; Warner
The Hurt Locker, Written by Mark Boal; Summit Entertainment
A Serious Man, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen; Focus
Crazy Heart, Screenplay by Scott Cooper; Based on the novel
by Thomas Cobb; Fox Searchlight
Julie & Julia, Screenplay by Nora Ephron; Based on the
books Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child
with Alex Prud’homme; Sony Pictures
Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, Screenplay by
Geoffrey Fletcher; Based on the novel Push by Sapphire; Lionsgate
Star Trek, Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman;
Based upon Star Trek, Created by Gene Roddenberry; Paramount Pictures
Up in the Air, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon
Turner; Based upon the novel by Walter Kirn; Paramount Pictures