Like their counterparts in the Screen Actors Guild, awards voters in the Writers Guild of America are favoring little independent movies this year. In the nominations list that the WGA released on Thursday, six of the 10 screenwriting nominations, including all five of the Original Screenplay nods, went to art-house fare. ”Lost in Translation” (written by Sofia Coppola) and ”In America” (the autobiographical Irish-immigrant drama written by Jim Sheridan and daughters Naomi and Kirsten) are two awards-season favorites that won WGA nods for Original Screenplay; the others are ”Bend It Like Beckham” (Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, and Guljit Bindra), ”Dirty Pretty Things” (Steven Knight), and ”The Station Agent” (Tom McCarthy).
Among Adapted Screenplay nominees, ”American Splendor” (the indie biopic of comic book scribe Harvey Pekar, scripted by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman) and ”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (adapted by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens) have won honors elsewhere; in this WGA category, they join ”Cold Mountain” (Anthony Minghella), ”Mystic River” (Brian Helgeland), and ”Seabiscuit” (Gary Ross)>
The Guild also nominated TV scripts, with some shows landing more than one episode per category. The Episodic Drama category saw two nominations for ”Law & Order: SVU,” one for ”Law & Order,” one for ”The West Wing,” and one for newcomer ”The O.C.” (for the pilot episode). Episodic Comedy nominees included two episodes of ”Malcolm in the Middle” and one each of ”Frasier” and ”Sex and the City.” ”The Simpsons” dominated the Animation category with three nods, plus one each for ”Futurama,” ”King of the Hill,” and ”The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.”
Among TV movies and miniseries, original scripts that made the cut were those for ”And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself,” ”Taken” (the first two installments), ”Caesar,” and ”Wilder Days.” Adapted scripts nominated were ”Normal,” ”Out of the Ashes,” ”Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story,” and ”The Stranger Beside Me.” (What, no ”Angels in America”?) The guild will present its prizes at the 56th annual awards banquet at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles on Feb. 21, eight days before the Oscars.