The Writers Guild of America has announced its official nominees for the 2018 Writers Guild Awards, and some of the year's best genre movies are in the mix.
In the Original Screenplay category, Get Out (written by Jordan Peele) and The Shape of Water (written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor) will compete with excellent but more mainstream fare like I, Tonya, Lady Bird and The Big Sick.
Meanwhile, the Adapted Screenplay field features one major surprise: Logan, written by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green, hopes to claw the prize away from fellow nominees Call Me by Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Molly’s Game and Mudbound (all strong works, by the way).
Get Out has been racking up top slots on critics' year-end lists, while also earning five Spirit Award nominations and recently cleaning up at the Gotham Awards; it's a serious contender in the Oscar race too, with the satirical horror movie heavily touted to be a possible Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay nominee.
Meanwhile, The Shape of Water is up for a hefty seven Golden Globes, leading all nominees for that awards show (Get Out has landed a relatively paltry two, including an arguably dismissive nod in the Best Comedy or Musical category). The Golden Globes ceremony takes place this Sunday, January 7, and will be broadcast by NBC.
Logan getting the Adapted Screenplay nomination is a pleasant shocker indeed, only because it's very rare that superhero movies get any kind of awards recognition outside of technical prizes and genre-driven events like the Saturn Awards. It will be interesting to see whether Hugh Jackman's powerful and emotional final turn as Wolverine can break through with the Oscars as well. The film has also made the National Board of Review's Top 10 of 2017, which could bode well for its chances (and hey, all three films made our Top 10 as well).
The bottom line? Serious, well-written, character-driven genre fare is getting a lot of respect this year from critics and awards organizations — as it should when it's as well done as these movies are. Whether that extends to the top of the heap — the Academy Awards -- beyond just the usual trophies for design and visual effects remains to be seen.