The news seemed good for director Wes Anderson, who (after five previous nominations) finally what appeared to be an Oscar frontrunner on his hands. The Grand Budapest Hotel earned nine Academy Awards nominations this year, more than any other film except Birdman, which also scored nine nominations. And the poof! Away it went, out of the conversation, as Birdman picked up guild award after guild award, American Sniper dominated the box office, critics lamented the apparent underdog status of Boyhood and everyone wondered what the hell happened to Selma.
But never count Wes Anderson out completely. This weekend he took home the Writers Guild of America (WGA) award for Best Original Screenplay, an award he shared with Hugo Guinness, who shared with Anderson a story credit. The WGA also presented Graham Moore with an award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on The Imitation Game, a film based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma, originally written by Andrew Hodges.
With the Oscars only one week away, pundits and armchair enthusiasts may be looking at the WGA Awards to help them predict the Academy Awards. But while Best Original Screenplay is perhaps The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s best chance at an above-the-line Oscar win (it’s got a real shot at winning Best Production Design, Costume Design and Original Score), it may have difficulty defeating Birdman or even Boyhood at the Academy Awards, if either film builds up enough momentum to sweep the ceremony.
And The Imitation Game, which has long been a favorite to win Best Adapted Screenplay (and nothing else), might also face some stiffer competition at the Oscars. Damien Chazelle’s screenplay for Whiplash was confusingly included in the Best Adapted Screenplay category at the Academy Awards, and is acclaimed enough to possibly spoil Graham Moore’s chances at taking home a statue.
The WGA Awards also awarded Brian Knappenberger for his Documentary Screenplay to The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Schwartz (which isn’t nominated at the Oscars this year).
Keep coming back this week for more awards season coverage as the Oscars loom.