Every year, the Writers Guild of America confounds Oscarologists when it rules a slew of screenplays ineligible for their kudos. Only scripts written under the guild's guidelines or those of several international partners are allowed to vie for these kudos.
Voting for nominations began on Tuesday (Dec. 3) with the slate of cotenders to be announced on Jan. 3 and winners revealed during a Feb. 1 ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles.
While upwards of 250 films are in the running for Best Picture at the Oscars, only 54 of these had original scripts that can vie for WGA recognition while just 41 had adapted screenplays that can contend. (Compare those figures to last year when 68 original scripts and 44 adaptations contended.)
While our five frontrunners for the Original Screenplay Oscar are eligible with the WGA, a number of other scripts are out of the running including: "Fruitvale Station" (ranked eighth on our chart); "Rush" (#11) and "The Past" (#16).
Last year, seven of the WGA nominees also reaped Oscar bids, including the adaptation of "Argo" which won both races. However, two of the eventual five Oscar nominees for Best Original Screenplay -- the winner "Django Unchained" by non-guild member Quentin Tarantino and "Amour" from writer-director Michael Haneke -- were deemed ineligible by the WGA. "Zero Dark Thirty" won that race at the WGA and did contend at the Oscars.
In 2011, only five of the 10 WGA nominees went on to contend at the Oscars. In 2010, six of the 10 WGA nominees went on to compete at the Oscars while only four managed to do this in 2009.
Three of 2011's Oscar nominees for Best Original Screenplay -- "The Artist," "Margin Call" and "A Separation" -- were ineligible with the WGA as was one of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar contenders -- "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."
Both of 2011's WGA winners went on to repeat at the Oscars. "Midnight in Paris" won Woody Allen his fifth Original Screenplay award from the WGA while Alexander Payne claimed his third Adapted Screenplay prize for "The Descendants," along with collaborators Nax Faxon and Jim Rash.
In 2010, Aaron Sorkin won Best Adapted Screenplay at both kudos for "The Social Network." He edged out the adapters of "127 Hours" and "True Grit" for both awards. However, two of his Oscar rivals -- "Toy Story 3" and "Winter's Bone" -- were ineligible to contend at the WGAs.
And in 2009, the four WGA contenders deemed Oscar worthy were: WGA winner "The Hurt Locker" which repeated at the Oscars and "A Serious Man" on the original front and eventual champ "Precious" and WGA winner "Up in the Air" on the adapted side. Two of the eventual five Oscar nominees for Best Original Screenplay -- "Inglorious Basterds" and "Up" -- were ineligible for WGA consideration. Likewise, three of the Best Adapted Screenplay contenders -- "District 9," "An Education" and "In the Loop" -- were left out of the running by the WGA.
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"No Country for Old Men" (2007) was the most recent of the 38 Best Picture Academy Award winners to date to be adapted from a novel while "Chicago" (2002) was the last of the dozen stage transfers to take the top prize. This year's contenders include a number of film versions of award-winning plays, books, and other adapted material.
Based on the autobiography by Solomon Northup, a man living in New York during the mid-1800s is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep south. Screenplay by John Ridley. Directed by Steve McQueen. Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.
Final Oscars smackdown: Tariq blasts Tom for that stupid Leo prediction
Those sparring Oscar experts Tariq Khan and Tom O'Neil clash one last time as Tariq blasts Tom for having made a few numbskull picks and Tom counter-attacks with nuclear warheads. Alternately funny, outrageous and fearlessly ferocious, these guys just can't calm down even though the Oscars are over. Listen to their podcast below. Subscribe and see more at iTunes and Libsyn.
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OVERVIEW OF WINNERS (AND LOSERS)
Complete list of winners (and nominees)
Gold Derby odds predicted 22 of 24 Oscar winners
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Beware: 11 possible upsets loom
How the preferential ballot works
Winners In All 24 Categories
Watch: Editors' slugfest with last-minute predix
EXPERTS PREDICTIONS (By category)
Picture: 22 predict '12 Years,' 8 'Gravity'
Director: 30 predict Alfonso Cuaron
Actor: 29 predict Matthew McConaughey
Actress: 30 predict Cate Blanchett
Supporting Actor: 30 predict Jared Leto
Supp. Actress: 26 predict Nyong'o, 4 Lawrence
Original Screenplay: 15 predict 'Hustle,' 15 'Her'
Adapted Screenplay: 29 predict '12 Years'
Animated Feature: 30 predict 'Frozen'
Foreign Film: 26 predict 'Great Beauty'
Documentary: 19 predict '20 Feet,'
Production Design: 22 predict 'Gatsby,' 5 'Gravity'
Cinematography: 29 predict 'Gravity'
Costume Design: 24 predict 'Gatsby,' 4 'Hustle'
Editing: 20 predict 'Gravity,' 8 'Captain Phillips'
Makeup & Hair: 28 predict 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Sound Editing & Mixing: 29 predict 'Gravity'
Score: 28 predict 'Gravity'
Song: 28 predict 'Frozen,' two favor U2
Visual Effects: 29 predict 'Gravity'
Animated Short: 27 predict 'Get a Horse'
Doc Short: 29 predict 'Lady in Number 6'
Live Action Short: 16 'Voorman,' 9 'Helium'
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Read more about entry and rules here. Make your initial Oscar predictions now. Change them later as often as you wish up until Oscar Day. Below, meet our past winners of recent award prediction contests.
Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.
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