'Hurt Locker,' 'Up in the Air' win Writers Guild Awards

To the surprise of absolutely no one, The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air won the Writers Guild of America Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, respectively, tonight in Los Angeles. Since Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds script was ineligible for the original-screenplay prize, Mark Boal’s work on The Hurt Locker had a clear path to victory. Meanwhile, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner’s Up in the Air screenplay has been the clear favorite in the adapted race all season long. My west coast colleague Lynette Rice was at the ceremony; click over to see her Writers Guild Awards on-the-scene report.


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  • Wes

    sounds about right. Hope IB gets the love tho on march 7!!

    • Redeye

      I just saw “District 9″, and I have seen most of the oher nominees. I thought it was the most original and thought provoking movie!! One of the best in screenplays, and Best Picture as well!! What does everyoe think about this film??

      • waya

        I loved District 9 and was glad to see it get recognized. I don’t think it will win though.

      • Michele

        District 9 was phenomenal, Sarlto Copley should have gotten an acting nomination, and Neill Blomkamp should have gotten a directing nomination. Also, why was Inglorious Basterds ineligible for the WGA Original Screenplay, but eligible for the Oscars?

      • Michele

        nevermind, I just read the answer! I didn’t know Tarantino wasn’t a WGA member…

  • The Dude

    Due to all the films that were ineligible for the WGA this year, this was the EASIEST precursor to predict, by far. It’ll be interesting to see if both of these films can carry their success to Oscar night (I’m thinking UITA can, but I dunno about THL). Even so, congrats to the winners! Both very deserving!

  • Hannah

    It’s hard to take the WGAs seriously this year when so many competitors were disqualified for whatever reason.
    I still think Basterds will take home original. Up in the Air will get adapted, but that’s ALL it’s getting.

    • Strepsi

      The reason is they were not made under WGA union contract. From the L.A. Times:
      “Why not? Since “Inglourious’ ” Quentin Tarantino isn’t a member of the WGA and his film wasn’t made under the guild’s minimum basic agreement, his film isn’t eligible. Likewise with “A Single Man,” which was written by Tom Ford, who is not a WGA member. (Nor is Joe Penhall, who adapted “The Road.”)

      As Pond points out, the Directors Guild allows non-DGA productions to be nominated. From where I sit, it is long overdue for the WGA to adapt a similar policy. The WGA, which prides itself on its inclusiveness in so many areas, should open its doors to non-members at awards season. It would be the kind of magnanimous gesture that might serve as a reminder that the WGA rewards great writing, not just great writing that happened to pass muster because it came from a film that was made under a guild-sponsored collective bargaining agreement.”

  • mike

    Why are five of the Oscar nominated screenplays not elligable for WG awards?

    • Charlie

      Because the writers were either non-WGA or for some other random reason.

  • Brian

    The Hurt Locker may have won The Writers Guild Award for Best Original Screenplay since Inglourious Basterds was not eligible but I’m still convinced that Inglourious Basterds may win the Original Screenplay Oscar.

  • Jackson

    The Hurt Locker’s win is most undeserved. The most overrated film I have ever seen, and the screenplay is without a doubt its weakest part. So underwritten. This should have been A Serious Man’s all the way, and any intelligent person should see that.

    • Tommy

      If I gave an opinion why The Hurt Locker has better writing than A Serious Man (not saying that its true however), are you saying that I’m unintelligent?

    • Emma

      I agree with Jackson. A Serious Man was VERY well written. Excellent movie overall, but the script was the best part. Except for the directing, obviously. The dialogue is genius and the pace is perfect too. Have to admit though, I have not seen The Hurt Locker.

      • m1

        Yes. It was well written. I read the script but haven’t seen the film. But The Hurt Locker was AMAZING.

    • Bill

      I just watched A Serious Man – I love the Coen brothers but that movie was a turd.

  • Jackson

    I rather have seen Avatar win than something as void of feeling and story arc as The Hurt Locker. It is beyond me how such a shoddy, episodic narrative that consists of nothing more than a bunch of redundant scenes stringed together without even an ounce of cohesive dramatic force could even be CONSIDERED for a freaking screenplay prize. The Coens better call the police because they’ve been outright ROBBED.

    • @Jackson

      The very last film that should be considered for a screenplay award is Avatar, not The Hurt Locker. The only reason Avatar was nominated is because so many films with far better screenplays were ineligible.

      • m1

        I know, right? I hope the Academy makes everything right and picks either Up in the Air or The Hurt Locker for either/both best picture or/and screenplay. Avatar was good, but it wasn’t THAT good.

    • @Jackson

      And just to clarify, I’m not saying you’re wrong in thinking that The Coen brothers deserved the award. I’m disagreeing with your thought that Avatar would have been a better choice to win this than The Hurt Locker.

      • Emma

        I think that Jackson simply meant that EVEN seeing Avatar win would have been less ridiculous, not that Avatar had a particularly strong screenplay, which is OBVIOUSLY not the case.

      • @Jackson

        Emma, I understand that that was what he meant. I’m just disagreeing with it. Avatar winning would have been far more ridiculous than The Hurt Locker winning.

  • Nix

    It was much more fun to root for an upset when it was Avatar heading towards inevitable coronation. I can’t believe I’m starting to root for it now. Or, perhaps, even better, Inglourious, even though that means playing directly into Harvey’s meathooks …

    • Emma

      I’m pulling for Inglourious Basterds too! Although with over 2 billion in the bank, I’m starting to feel like Cameron really does rule the world…and what a sad world it is.

  • shane

    Mike- not all the writers are members.
    Hannah is correct about Up in the Air, Screenplay will be its only win.

    The race between THL and IB is a tight one and I think in the end that Quentin will eke out a win. But that and Walz will be the only wins for that movie.

    Remember Jackson, writers are not like you and me, they are smarter than us. They are the peers voting for their best work amongst themselves, os I highly doubt that a fluff piece like Serious Man had a chance in hell. I think I could have written that in grade 12. Mark Boal’s work, while not the strongest part of Hurt Locker, was actually authentic. And besides, its not what you think or what I think, I beleive writers recognize their own best work. It doesn’t matter anyway, the writers are just one bloc of academy voters.

    • Jackson

      HAHA wow. That was one of the most ignorant things I’ve read in a long time. FLUFF piece? A SERIOUS MAN? Open your eyes, man! How does complex religious/mythological/philosophical introspection fit anywhere into “FLUFF?” You are a moron.

    • Frank

      Ask any military member and they will tell you how inauthentic The Hurt Locker actually is.

    • Bill

      I’m with you, Shane – A Serious Man was ridiculously bad.

  • Jackson

    And I don’t mean to be rude but that is just sensationally dense. Criticize A Serious Man if you must, but there is nothing in that movie that isn’t deeply analytical and multi-layered.

  • Jackson

    The Hurt Locker wishes it even had anything new to say. War is a drug? Thanks for telling me! A Serious Man is loaded to the brim with insight and thought-provoking subtext. Mark Boal doesn’t deserve crap.

    • Bill

      The only thought A Serious Man provokes is “Who wrote this crap?”

      • Jackson

        Joel and Ethan Coen, two of the most talented writers working today. Let’s see you come up with something that’s so simultaneously clever and downright profound.

  • Jim

    Wow. 1.) Jackson we get it you hate the Hurt Locker. No you really hate it and consider it vastly overrated. 2.) It’s mighty funny that everyone’s discounting the only award given by a guild of actual, you know, writers. Apparently they think it was a good script. Sorry.

    • Frank

      Of course, under that logic, Avatar must be wonderfully written since it was still nominated by this same guild.

  • Ashley

    It amazes me how angry people get when complete strangers disagree with them. I loved The Hurt Locker. I’m not a big fan of war movies, but this one hit very close to home and, to me, gave viewers a genuine look at what these soldiers go through. I love how it wasn’t bogged down with some kind of political statement. I liked A Serious Man also, but I personally think that the better movie won. But, this is just my humble opinion. Take it or leave it.

  • Fred

    Regardless of the recent wins….the Acadamy is voting for AVATAR for beest film…..Hurt Locker is stilll just an ordinary win….

    • Claire

      Ew. Sorry but Avatar was awful. The screenplay was a joke.

      • Jackson

        Please. The screenplay was painted in very broad, obvious bold lines, but the immensity of the visuals and the pure magic of the transportive experience MORE than made up for it.

  • Matt

    Why was IB ineligible? It could have used the steam for the Oscars… :\

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