Awards for the Weekend: Words, Sights and Sounds

Birdman-ChivoBlockingThe Writing, Photography and Audio People.

Writers Guild of America.

The folks that thought up those movie stories had a fancy night on Valentine’s Day. Eligibility rules excluded Birdman, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Mr. Turner, Dear White People, and Wild Tales among others from the list of nominees announced on January 7th. Past ineligibles have included Oscar winners Django Unchained and 12 Years a Slave. Big nomination surprise that day in Janaury: Guardians of the Galaxy. Big nomination push that day: Nightcrawler, Wild, and Whiplash. READ 2014 SCRIPTS HERE

The host of the WGA Award Ceremony was a hearty Lisa Kudrow who made the LA and NYC rooms pay attention to eligibility and other things when she did the math and said that if Boyhood won it was technically for a movie filmed in 2002. The best speech of the night apparently was Ben Affleck’s who got a humanitarian award for his economic empowerment work in the Congo. It was an eyebrow raising activist speech about how religions should all get along. Many other, lighter, speeches were made, all by writers trying to trump one another with banter and wit.

WGA StatuetteThe winner for Best Adapted Feature was Graham Moore, well deserved for The Imitation Game, and besting Nick Hornby’s Wild from the bunch.  Moore has tough competition from Anthony McCarten, for The Theory of Everything, on Oscar night.

Original Feature went to Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel which, given his Golden Globe and BAFTA wins, make him a front runner for the Oscar. That is if Birdman (which the WGA statue resembles) were not in that race.

Cinema Audio Society, American Society of Cinematographers and the Motion Picture Sound Editors.

With its outstanding use of steady-cam and great lighting, as well as the great one-shot look, Birdman has been sweeping all cinematography awards this season. No surprise then that the ASC gave this film its top honor. With last year’s Gravity, this will mark Emmanuel Lubezki’s (whose other films include Children of Men, The Tree of Life, Sleepy Hollow, and Meet Joe Black among countless others) back to back honors from the guild and, most likely, the Oscars.  Birdman kept it up in the sound side, winning top honors in the CAS for Best Sound and MPSE (for music edit).

It’s a wrap for the Guilds and, along with sound from Cinema Audio Society and MPSE, and photography from ASC, Birdman swept up the Guild peerage circuit with its wins from SAG, PGA and DGA. All that is left now is The Independent Spirit Awards, on February 21st, and The Academy Awards, on February 22nd.