Borat, Promising Young Woman build Oscar momentum as writers name best screenplays of 2020
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Promising Young Woman scored a major pre-Oscars victory at the 2021 Writers Guild of America Awards. See the full list of winners here.
The Writers Guild of America has penned another gilded chapter in the storybook of the longest awards season on record.
After months of contenders jockeying for industry attention in the run-up to the April 25 Oscars ceremony, the WGA — comprised of scores of writers who share crossover membership with the Academy — has named its best screenplays of the year, solidifying the prospects of major titles in the race.
Buzzy titles on opposite ends of the Hollywood spectrum took the guild's top awards, as Sacha Baron Cohen's digital blockbuster Borat Subsequent Moviefilm took the Best Adapted Screenplay prize, while Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman — largely expected to take the Oscar at next month's awards show — earned Best Original Screenplay.
While its track record with Oscar crossover isn't as strong as other important precursor guilds like the Producers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America (largely due to its eligibility parameters), the WGA Awards have correctly predicted seven Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winners across the last 10 ceremonies; that number drops to five for Best Original Screenplay winners shared between the Academy and the WGA over the same period — including last year's dual winner Parasite.
Despite strong showings on the precursor circuit, several key Oscar players were ineligible for WGA nominations thanks to the guild's eligibility rules, which stipulate that screenplays made outside Writers Guild standards can't contend for the group's top prizes. This year, exclusions include Oscar-nominated titles like Minari, Nomadland, and David Fincher's Mank, which missed out on an Oscar nom for Best Screenplay.
Read on for a full list of 2021 WGA Awards winners, updating live as they're announced, and keep up with EW's comprehensive coverage of the Oscar race at The Awardist.
2021 WGA CATEGORIES
Judas and the Black Messiah, Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King, Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas; Warner Bros.
Palm Springs, Screenplay by Andy Siara, Story by Andy Siara & Max Barbakow; Hulu
WINNER: Promising Young Woman, Written by Emerald Fennell; Focus Features
Sound of Metal, Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder, Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance; Amazon Studios
The Trial of the Chicago 7, Written by Aaron Sorkin; Netflix
WINNER: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad, Based on Characters Created by Sacha Baron Cohen; Amazon Studios
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Screenplay by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Based on the Play Written by August Wilson; Netflix
News of the World, Screenplay by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies, Based upon the Novel by Paulette Jiles; Universal Pictures
One Night in Miami, Screenplay by Kemp Powers, Based on the Stage Play "One Night in Miami" by Kemp Powers; Amazon Studios
The White Tiger, Screenplay by Ramin Bahrani, Based on the Book "The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga; Netflix
All In: The Fight for Democracy, Written by Jack Youngelson; Amazon Studios
WINNER: The Dissident, Written by Mark Monroe and Bryan Fogel; Briarcliff Entertainment
Herb Alpert Is…, Written by John Scheinfeld; Abramorama
Red Penguins, Written by Gabe Polsky; Universal Pictures
Totally Under Control, Written by Alex Gibney; Neon
See the full list of WGA Awards winners on the WGA's website.
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