Sunday, February 6, 2011

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A Guilds Recap

There are still one more guild (that I pay attention to) to announce: the American Cinematographers Guild. Nevertheless, with the results of the WGA Awards now out there for all to see, we might as well take a look at how things are going.

Another award? Come on in...

Motion Picture - The King's Speech
Animated Feature - Toy Story 3
Documentary - Waiting for "Superman"

I dare say Waiting for "Superman" was the surprise snub of Oscar Nom Morn (Nolan was surprising, but less so; if anyone in that category was going to miss, it was always going to be him). This was the first indication that The King's Speech was more beloved than initially anticipated.

Tom Hooper, The King's Speech

Oh, and then there was this. When the odds-on favorite David Fincher lost this, of all awards, to Hooper, the nail was in the coffin. And everyone went crazy, forgetting that The King's Speech is an admirable film boasting a multi-faceted screenplay, relatable characters portrayed magnificently by top-tier actors, and surprisingly experimental direction. Ok, so it wasn't "art school" experimental, but few films are shot with such reliance on fish-eye lens and intimidatingly spacious headroom. And all for a purpose!

Helena, you saucy minx.

Outstanding Cast - The King's Speech
Outstanding Lead Actor - Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Outstanding Lead Actress - Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Outstanding Supporting Actor - Christian Bale, The Fighter
Outstanding Supporting Actress - Melissa Leo, The Fighter

As solid as the cast of The King's Speech is, I do wish this had gone to The Fighter. I shan't argue with those individual awards, however.

Original Screenplay - Christopher Nolan, Inception
Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Documentary Writing - Charles Ferguson, Inside Job 

It is difficult to take these too seriously, for several films were deemed ineligible due to the screenwriters not being card-carrying members of the WGA of America. The other Guilds, I believe, nominate non-Guild members - certainly the DGA must, for Tarantino has received two nominations from them and does not belong to any Guild. Because of these bizarre rules, David Seidler's screenplay for The King's Speech missed out on a nomination. It would've won, I'm sure.

But can I say how bizarre I find it that there's a category for documentary writing? And yet I know that narration and editing in a doc is just as dependent on the way the documentarian crafts his story as any narrative. And yet...


TomS said...

Hmmm..Inception over The Kids Are All Right? Still very disappointed at the exclusionary rules of the WGA.

Yes, to a purist, a Documentary has no business being awearded for "Writing". But the genre has evolved to include all types of "reality-based" and instructional films....

Feb 17 I believe are the of my favorite guild awards...

Nice job summarizing the Guilds so far!

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Thanks, Tom. Always a pleasure to hear from you. I agree: The Kids Are All Right, Black Swan, The Fighter are all > Inception. Inception had quite a doozy of a plot, but the other three had fine plots AND developed characters. Hm....