How the WGA Nominations Will Impact the 2024 Oscars

Liem Soeng

How the WGA Nominations Will Impact the 2024 Oscars

Every year, folks scratch their heads over the “strange” omissions from the Writers Guild Award nominations. That’s because the Writers Guild of America refuses to accept as awards-eligible any movie that did not sign with them; thus, many British and European movies are left out of the nominations, as well as animated fare.

This won’t hurt these “overlooked” films at the Oscars: they won’t get a boost, but many non-WGA nominees have gone on to collect Oscars, Quentin Tarantino among them. This year’s favorite to win the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, for example, Justine Triet and Arthur Harrari’s French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall,” won the BAFTA Award, but is ineligible for the WGA.

Because the WGA pushed back their awards show so late (it’s now set for April 14, 2024), we already know the Oscar-nominated writers. Those WGA nominees could gain momentum during the Oscar voting, which starts February 22 and ends February 27.

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Another difference between the two awards bodies is that “Barbie” is contending as an Original Screenplay at the WGA, while an Academy committee deemed the script Adapted because it was based on previously existing IP. A sympathy vote for snubbed director Greta Gerwig, who wrote the script with husband Noah Baumbach, could push “Barbie” into the Oscar winners circle.

BARBIE, Ryan Gosling as Ken, 2023. © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection
“Barbie”©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

How to account for “Air,” “Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret,” and “Nyad” entering the WGA running? There are available slots! That helps to explain why the WGA also includes Martin Scorsese and Eric Roth’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which the Academy Writers Branch did not nominate.

As ever these days, while the WGA leaned into American writers, international titles are strong contenders at the Oscars, including WGA-ineligible Adapted Screenplay “The Zone of Interest,” the German-language UK entry, which won three BAFTAs on Sunday including a first: it took home both Best British Film and Best Film in a Foreign-Language. Go figure.

When it comes to documentaries, Guild nominating committees often go their own way. There is no WGA overlap with the documentary Oscar nominees. While the DGA and the BAFTAs went with Oscar frontrunner “20 Days at Mariupol,” best-known WGA nominees are “Stamped from the Beginning” (Netflix) and “The Pigeon Tunnel” (Apple Originals) from Errol Morris. Check out the full list of nominees here.

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