The Oscars are this Sunday, but Hollywood hasn't finished dishing out awards just yet: the WGAs are in and the big winners are Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, for Best Original Screenplay, and Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash's The Descendants, for Best Adapted Screenplay, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Ordinarily this would seem like a decent indicator of the film industry's leanings in the Oscar race, but this year…? Not so much.
A quick scan of the WGA Award nominees shows that there's not a lot of overlap with the Oscars in the Original Screenplay race. Only two nominated screenplays appear on both lists: Midnight in Paris and Bridesmaids. The WGAs filled out their remaining slots with 50/50, Win Win and Young Adult. The Oscars nominated The Artist, Margin Call and A Separation, with The Artist in particular representing Allen's biggest competition in the category. The film is considered a lock for Best Picture, and could easily ride a popularity wave into the writing, acting and technical categories as well.
The Descendants has a better shot at Best Adapted Screenplay. Alexander Payne's critically-acclaimed drama is a long shot in most categories, although George Clooney seems to be in a dead heat with Jean Dujardin for Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay seems like the Academy's best opportunity reward the film. Both the WGAs and the Oscars nominated The Descendants, Hugo and Moneyball in the category. The WGAs also gave nods to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Help, the latter of which could have given Payne's film some competition, while the Oscars filled out the category with The Ides of March and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, neither of which seem likely contenders for the award this Sunday. This could mean The Descendants has an edge over Hugo and Moneyball, but it always seemed like the frontrunner anyway.
CraveOnline will be back with more Oscars news after we press our tuxes.