The Writers Guild awards are almost irrelevant this year, given that so many of the top Oscar-contending screenplays were ineligible. (A film must be produced by guild signatories to qualify.) On the adapted-screenplay side, An Education, A Single Man, Fantastic Mr. Fox, District 9, and In the Loop were all ineligible, while original-screenplay candidates Up and Inglourious Basterds didn’t qualify either. Nonetheless, here are today’s nominees:

Original Screenplay

(500) Days of Summer


The Hangover

The Hurt Locker

A Serious Man

Adapted Screenplay

Crazy Heart

Julie & Julia


Star Trek

Up in the Air

Two things. 1) Yes, that’s right, The Hangover is officially a Writers Guild nominee. 2) The question now is: Can Avatar do what Titanic couldn’t, and actually score an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay? In 1998, Titanic managed to get on the WGA list but was muscled out at the Oscars by Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry. Assuming Up and Basterds are in for original screenplay, one of them will definitely bump out The Hangover. The other will displace either Avatar or (500) Days. Right now, the momentum is certainly with Avatar.

Check out my tally of the eight most important pre-Oscar nominations. Which film is the only one to land on all eight lists?