Pretty big snub by for Da 5 Bloods by the Writers Guild of America this week, but then, the WGA has only ever nominated Spike Lee once, for his Oscar-winning adaptation BlacKkKlansman. It’s not out quite yet but it could have used it.
While the expected screenplays of The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Promising Young Woman made the WGA cut, both Sound of Metal and Judas and the Black Messiah also did. The former is a critics’ leader in Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor and the latter, which just premiered last weekend, is looking to make one of those 11th hour moves that we see almost every year. While there is some concern that Sound of Metal could see its category placement moved by the Academy (like Whiplash, Loving and Moonlight were), word is that they’ve already approved it for original, despite being based on Derek Cianfrance’s unreleased film Metalhead (which is why he has a story by credit). We’ll see, the Academy does love a good curveball.
But what to do with Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always? Is the NYFCC and NSFC winner for Best Screenplay going to be shut out? After the WGA nominated just four women (from only two films) of 31 nominees? It’s more than just a bad look in a year with so many stellar films written by women (where’s Radha Blank and The Forty-Year Old Version?).
I know some are toying with the idea of the late Jack Fincher’s Mank being a huge surprise snub here, as it’s been showing itself to be a vulnerable contender, but I’m not quite ready to pull that trigger yet. For the record, it and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari were not eligible for WGA.
The Writers Guild Awards are March 21, six days after Oscar nominations are announced.
Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Original Screenplay for February.
Green – moves up ↑; Red – moves down ↓; Blue – new entry this month +; Black – no change ↔
1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 ↔ (Netflix) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA , WGA
2. Promising Young Woman ↔ (Focus Features) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA , WGA
3. Minari ↑ (A24) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA
Lee Isaac Chung
4. Mank ↓ (Netflix) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA
5. Sound of Metal ↑ (Amazon Studios) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA , WGA
Abraham Marder, Darius Marder (screenplay), Derek Cianfrance (story by)
6. Judas and the Black Messiah ↑ (Warner Bros) – BAFTA longlist, WGA
Will Berson and Shaka King (screenplay), Keith Lucas and Kenny Lucas (story by)
7. Never Rarely Sometimes Always ↓ (Focus Features) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA
8. Soul ↓ (Pixar) – BAFTA longlist
Pete Docter, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers
9. Da 5 Bloods ↓ (Netflix) – BAFTA longlist
Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
10. Palm Springs ↑ (Hulu/Neon) – WGA
Ammonite (Neon) – BAFTA longlist
The Assistant (Bleecker Street) – BAFTA longlist
The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix) – BAFTA longlist
Malcolm & Marie ↓ (Netflix)
Miss Juneteenth (Vertical Entertainment)
Channing Godfrey Peoples
On the Rocks (A24/Apple TV+)
Wolfwalkers (Apple TV+/Cartoon Saloon)
Jericca Cleland, Will Collins, Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Image courtesy of Focus Features