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'Argo,' 'Zero Dark Thirty' win Writers Guild of America awards

February 17, 2013|By Mark Olsen
  • The Writers Guild of America gave its top prizes to Chris Terrio for "Argo" for adapted screenplay and Mark Boal for "Zero Dark Thirty" for original screenplay.
The Writers Guild of America gave its top prizes to Chris Terrio for "Argo"… (Handout )

 The Writers Guild of America gave its top prizes to Chris Terrio for “Argo” for adapted screenplay and Mark Boal for “Zero Dark Thirty” for original screenplay on Sunday night in a bicoastal awards ceremony held simultaneously in Los Angeles and New York City.

In the cruel algebra of awards season, where x-award plus y-award increases the perceived likelihood of final Oscar victory, Sunday night’s WGA award is the latest sign that Hollywood had gone all in on “Argo,” with the diminishing likelihood of a last stand for “Lincoln.”  

Other nominated screenplays in the adaptation category were Tony Kushner’s “Lincoln,” David Magee’s “Life of Pi,” Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” Of the nominees, only Chbosky was not nominated for the Oscar as well.

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The other nominees in the category of original screenplay were John Gatins for “Flight,” Rian Johnson for “Looper,” Paul Thomas Anderson for “The Master” and Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for “Moonrise Kingdom.” Only the scripts for “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Zero Dark Thirty” are also nominated for the Oscar.

Both of last year’s WGA winners, “The Descendants” and “Midnight In Paris,” went on to win the Oscar as well, emerging from a patchwork of films nominated across both voting bodies. This year, the Oscar-nominated scripts for “Amour” and “Django Unchained” in the original category and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” for adapted were not eligible for WGA awards under the guild’s guidelines.

In the category of documentary screenplay, Malik Bendjelloul won for the film “Searching for Sugar Man,” the latest in a remarkable awards run for the film about the rediscovery of the musician, obscure no more, known as Rodriguez.

 In the television categories, “Breaking Bad” won for drama series and “Louie” won for comedy series. In the episodic categories, “The Other Woman” episode of “Mad Men” written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner won for drama, while the “Virgin Territory” episode of “Modern Family” written by Elaine Ko won for comedy. “Girls” took home the prize for new series.

Danny Strong won for “Game Change” in the category of long-form adapted television, andTed Mann, Ronald Parker and Bill Kerby won for “Hatfields and McCoys” in the category of long-form original. The “Ned and Edna’s Blend Agenda" episode of “The Simpsons” written by Jeff Westbrook won in the animation category.

In the category of comedy/variety, “Portlandia” won for series, and the “66th Annual Tony Awards” won for special.

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