Will this weekend’s Writers Guild Awards continue Slumdog Millionaire’s momentum or throw a wrench into the awards season as it approaches the home stretch? In the adapted screenplay race, Slumdog’s Simon Beaufoy competes with fellow Oscar nominees Eric Roth & Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), John Patrick Shanley (Doubt), and Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon), along with The Dark Knight’s Jonathan & Christopher Nolan. It’s a strong list, including three Best Picture nominees, but after all of Slumdog’s other big guild-award victories (SAG, PGA, and DGA), a win by any other film at this point would be a shock.
The original screenplay category is a bit more interesting because only one of the nominees—Milk’s Dustin Lance Black (pictured with Gus Van Sant)—ended up scoring an Oscar nomination too. In place of Academy contenders Wall-E, In Bruges, Frozen River, and Happy-Go-Lucky (several of which weren’t eligible for the WGA), the other nominees this weekend are Joel & Ethan Coen for Burn After Reading, Tom McCarthy for The Visitor, Woody Allen for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Robert Siegel for The Wrestler. With Wall-E out of the running, I see no way Milk loses. Does anyone out there predict an upset in either category? If so, convince me.