Friday, January 5, 2018

Celebrate National Screenwriters Day with science and speculative fiction among WGA film nominees

Happy National Screenwriters Day!  Just like National Science Fiction Day, this is a real national day, which I'll explain over the jump.  First, I'll celebrate screenwriting by highlighting the science and speculative fiction films among the WGA Awards Film & Documentary Nominees reported by Deadline Hollywood.

The Big Sick, Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani; Amazon Studios
Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele; Universal Pictures
I, Tonya, Written by Steven Rogers; Neon
Lady Bird, Written by Greta Gerwig; A24
The Shape of Water, Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro; Fox Searchlight
"The Shape of Water" and "Get Out" have been nominated in every major awards show so far, the 2018 Critics' Choice Movie Awards, AFI Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and SAG Awards.  I should not be surprised that their excellence began with a great original script.

Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory; Based on the Novel by André Aciman; Sony Pictures Classics
The Disaster Artist, Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; Based on the Book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell; A24
Logan, Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold; Based on Characters from the X-Men Comic Books and Theatrical Motion Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox Film
Molly’s Game, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the Book by Molly Bloom; STX Entertainment
Mudbound, Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees; Based on the Novel by Hillary Jordan; Netflix
"Logan" is the sole speculative fiction nominee among the adapted screenplay nominees.  I'm pleased but surprised.  If I thought any superhero movie would have earned this honor, it would have been "Wonder Woman."  As The Hollywood Reporter noted, it was eligible.  Still, it can now stand beside "Deadpool" as a superhero film worthy of a WGA nomination.

I'm going to leave fantasy behind to briefly visit reality in the form of science, crime, and politics.

Betting on Zero, Written by Theodore Braun; Gunpowder & Sky
Jane, Written by Brett Morgen; National Geographic
No Stone Unturned, Written by Alex Gibney; Abramorama
Oklahoma City, Written by Barak Goodman; American Experience Films
I've mentioned "Jane" twice before, first in 'Chasing Coral': awards and nominations and looking forward to next year's Emmys 4 and again in The most honored political documentaries of 2017 examine crime, injustice, and the Syrian Civil War.  With this nomination, it now has 11 points in nominations and awards, which ties it with "City of Ghosts."  When I wrote that this biography of Jane Goodall was as good as any of the films in my top five political documentaries of 2017, I wasn't kidding.  I'm quite sure it will be nominated.  Since it is the only shortlisted feature length documentary nominated, I'm moving its chances of winning up to even with "Ex Libris" should both be nominated.

I'd mentioned "Oklahoma City" before in "13th" vs. "O.J.: Made in America" plus other non-fiction political programs nominated at the Primetime Emmy Awards but didn't say a thing about it.  Now that it's earned a WGA nomination, I can see that was a glaring error of omission.  Adding the point for the WGA nomination to its Emmy nomination, it now has two points, which would have qualified it for my top political documentary list.

Follow over the jump for the description of National Screenwriters Day from National Day Calendar, including a cameo by "Deadpool" in the form of the lead actor praising the writers.

On January 5, when the credits roll on your favorite show or movie, admire the writers on National Screenwriters Day!

You’ve probably heard of Steven Spielberg, the great director, who is known for Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of The Lost Arc, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

But do you know that Spielberg didn’t write any of those movies? They were all written by the screenwriter (Robert Rodat, Lawerence Kasdan, and Melissa Mathison respectively).

Inside the industry, these screenwriters are well known for their ability to crack the story, create great roles for actors, and write memorable dialogue.  But there are also writers in living rooms all around the world, tapping away at their keyboards, writing what could be the next breakout movie.

Listen to what Ryan Reynolds said when he received the award for Best Actor.
“I’d like to take this chance to thank the screenwriters, not just the ones on Deadpool, but everywhere. It is a hugely undervalued asset in Hollywood. They are the architects. They make us look good.”
– Ryan Reynolds accepting the 2016 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor
So why haven’t we heard of these creative souls?

You will…starting now…with National Screenwriters Day!
Between this post and 'The Handmaid's Tale' leads speculative fiction on television at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, I think I've done my part.

Stay tuned for a post on the speculative fiction nominees from the Producers Guild of America (PGA), the second observation of the fake holiday Good news for animals in entertainment on the first Norther!, the winners of the Golden Globe Awards, and the nominees of the Art Directors Guild Awards, which is why "Blade Runner 2049" showed up in the preview image; consider it a preview of coming attractions.

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