January 19, 2008

WGA Awards a Bust in LA, Mini-Me in NYC

Even the Writers Guild of America plan a dumbed-down version of their annual awards presentation on February 9, as a result of the writers strike, according to a press release. The WGA Awards recognize writing in television, film, radio and video games. Only this years' nominees and their guests will be permitted to attend the ceremony and like the Golden Globes, there will be no red carpet.

WGA East president, Michael Winship hinted at the real reason behind shrinking the event to a mere reception when he stated, "It is very, very cold in New York City this time of year. Very cold."

Okay fine, he didn't say that. Winship did say, "We have chosen to honor the nominees and recipients of our awards in the context of our ongoing strike against the studios and networks. This will be a simple event that will rally us together as a union." The WGA West out of Los Angeles has decided to forgo an award ceremony altogether.

A few notables from the list of WGA Awards nominees include:

Knocked Up by Judd Apatow in the Best Original Screenplay category. While Knocked Up has received only a smattering of awards recognition (not unusual for a comedy), it has not been selected in any screenplay category thus far. Ryan Seacrest was given a Teen Choice Award for his portrayal of a Hissy Fit. Not sure if this is really a stretch for Seacrest, but who am I to judge?

For someone who has been nominated for and won a whole slew of awards, it's nice to see Sean Penn nominated for Into the Wild in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Penn's ability to wrap his mind around a character as an actor is well-suited for this film with such focused intensity on the main character, Chris McCandless' perspective. You can read an insightful interview from the December 2007 issue of Written By, trade magazine for members of the WGA West.

Mad Men (AMC) has been enjoying lots of buzz this awards season and deservedly so. This smart, cocksure and deliberate circa 1960s Dramatic Television Series and New Series nominee is almost solely dependent on its writing. Now, this is not meant to diminish the talents of the actors (mesmerizing performances, but very subtle!) or the hazy cinematography that has the audience hanging back as if a fly on the wall or shot tight up enhancing the tension naturally. Writing credits go to a parade of names, but the one that stands out is Matthew Weiner who competes with himself in the same category for The Sopranos. Indeed! While the first season has ended, you can catch the replay beginning Monday, January 21.

The entire list of WGA Awards nominees can be found here.

No comments: