I would say that going into the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) Awards last night, the films most
people were predicting to win were American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street. After thinking about the actual winners Her, and Captain Phillips they make more sense, especially with this Guild. Who better than writers to see the flaws in Hustle, and epic nature of the Billy Ray script for Captain Phillips.
So what does this mean for Oscar, well in the Original Screenplay this is still a battle between Her and American Hustle. Many on twitter argued that Hustle still has a larger appeal to whole Academy, which could be true. Hustle is nominated for the BAFTA while Her is not. If Hustle wins it gains some ground, but if it loses to any other film the Oscar goes to Her. Either way I think Her is out front.
In the Adapted category Phillips won, but its two strongest competitors are not in the running 12 Years a Slave and Philomena. Slave is the front runner, both are nominated at BAFTA. BAFTA can be a great crystal ball, but there are also times with British factor makes the water murky. Philomena could win at BAFTA, which pushes it ahead a little bit, but 12 Years a Slave still is the favorite to win here.
Looking at the bigger picture, I have a headache. No Best Picture race has been closer, ever. Gravity is slightly ahead with two Guild wins, PGA and DGA. 12 Years a Slave also won the PGA. American Hustle won SAG. Her and Captain Phillips won the WGA. I have never seen five different films split the Guilds.
Her and Captain Phillips are the safest to eliminate, they do not have Best Director nominations, and they won't be Argos. The two may still walk home with Oscar trophies, I think Her wins screenplay, and Phillips could win Editing or a Sound award, it is loud, and loud wins.
I think American Hustle is in third, sure it won at SAG, but it only won Ensemble, and no other acting prize. Many will argue that since Adams and Bale picked up nominations on Oscar morning the film is wildly popular with actors, but not enough. The loss at the WGA is also telling, the writers did not like it, and that's said to be the films "strength."
This comes down to that damn tie with the PGA, I could see either Gravity or 12 Years a Slave winning, but Gravity has the edge. Films rarely win PGA and DGA rarely lose Oscar, so if I were predicting today it would be Gravity.
Stories We Tell won the Documentary prize, which is a great win for the underrated Sarah Polley, who was snubbed for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars.
On the television side Breaking Bad was a double winner for writing in Drama Series, and won for single episode. Veep won writing for a Comedy Series, and 30 Rock took home home the episodic award for their finale. Part of this is very funny considering Bad and Veep have never nor been nominated for many writing Emmy Awards. Will this change this year, oh yes!
Full List of Nominees and Winners Below (source goldderby.com)
"American Hustle," Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell