Jordan Peele’s horror-comedy Get Out has won the Writers Guild of America’s award for Best Original Screenplay and James Ivory’s script for coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name has won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. “I put my heart and soul into this,” Peele said in his acceptance, noting he began working on the script in 2008.
Hulu’s dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale won the top drama series and new series awards from the Writers Guild of America to go along with its Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. HBO’s Veep won the comedy series award.
The awards were announced Sunday at the 70th Annual WGA Awards in Beverly Hills and New York.
Get Out topped Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird, Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor’s The Shape Of Water, Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick, and Steven Rogers for I, Tonya.
Peele’s script deals with a young black man who has to deal with an array of strange behaviour and supernatural horror at the family home of his white girlfriend. The screenplay has been widely praised for providing a nuanced view of racism in contemporary America.
The scripts for Lady Bird, Get Out, The Shape Of Water and The Big Sick all received Oscar nominations along with Martin McDonaugh’s screenplay for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Three Billboards was ineligible for a WGA award since it was not done under guild jurisdiction.
Ivory’s screenplay won over Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game, Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber’s The Disaster Artist, Dee Rees and Virgil Williams’ Mudbound, and Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green for Logan.
The script is based on Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel of a romantic relationship between a 17-year-old American boy and a visiting 24-year-old American scholar in 1983 Italy. Ivory’s screenplay has been widely praised for its empathy in portraying the nuances of a story of first love.
“I’m astonished by all this! I just wanted to go and make a film in Italy again,” said a delighted Ivory said in his acceptance.
Ivory, 89, is a first-time WGA nominee. He received a trio of Oscar nominations for directing The Remains Of The Day, Howards End and Room With A View. All five scripts in the adapted category also received Oscar nominations.
David E. Kelly won for HBO’s Big Little Lies, which took the award for Best Longform Adapted Script, and Lifetime’s Flint, written by Barbara Stepansky, won for Best Longform Original. She noted the Flint water crisis is in its 1,500th day.
Gordon Smith won the award for Best Episode Of A Drama Series for the Chicanery segment of AMC’s Better Call Saul. Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally won the award for Top Comedy Series award for the Rosario’s Quinceanera segment of NBC’s Will & Grace.
Brett Morgen won the documentary trophy for Jane. “Writing Jane was exhilarating because it allowed me to live inside the magical world of Jane Goodall for three amazing years,” he said.
Kate Purdy took the TV Animation award for the Time’s Arrow episode of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman.“I haven’t received a trophy since fourth grade soccer,” she said. “That’s when I physically and emotionally peaked.”
The Writers Guild of America awards were held Sunday with simultaneous events in New York at the Edison and in Beverly Hills at the Beverly Hilton.
Patton Oswalt hosted the West Coast show for the third year in a row. “I’m your host, Patton Oswalt, or as Guillermo del Toro puts it, The Shape Of Pudding,” he said. - Reuters/Dave McNary