''Columbine,'' ''Hours'' win pre-Oscar awards. The Michael Moore documentary and the Virginia Woolf-inspired drama top the Writers Guild awards

By Gary Susman
Updated March 10, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

If you want to win a Writers Guild of America award, it helps to make a movie starring someone named Moore. David Hare won the Best Adapted Screenplay award on Saturday for his screen version of Michael Cunningham’s novel ”The Hours,” which costars Julianne Moore. For the first time in the awards gala’s 55-year history, the Best Original Screenplay award went to a documentary, ”Bowling for Columbine,” written and narrated by Michael Moore. ”Hours” now stands a good chance of winning the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay, while ”Columbine,” which was not nominated for an Original Screenplay Oscar, is still a front-runner for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards.

Even as non-fiction invaded the movie categories for the first time, one writer at the WGA’s Beverly Hilton gala was lamenting its encroachment into TV. That was David E. Kelley, winner of the Paddy Chayefsky TV award for his body of work, and author of an upcoming episode of ”The Practice” skewering reality programming by having CBS president Les Moonves (playing himself) taken hostage. ”We live in a time when the medium is no longer respected by its guardians,” the ”Practice” and ”Ally McBeal” creator said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. ”I believe there are studio executives and network heads out there who would rather make a show with an [”West Wing” creator and writer] Aaron Sorkin than have lunch with the next contestant on ‘How to Marry a Terrorist,’ but those voices have gone silent for now.”

Bowling For Columbine

  • Movie
  • R
  • 125 minutes
  • Michael Moore