Get Out, Call Me By Your Name, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Veep were the big winners at last night’s Writers Guild Awards, the yearly honors by scribes, for scribes.
The Handmaid’s Tale won awards for both Dramatic Series and New Series, adding to a heavy mantle of trophies; it also won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series and the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama, among many others. “Mostly this goes to Margaret Atwood for her novel,” said showrunner Bruce Miller, in his acceptance speech. “She is the mother of us all.” Comedy Series winner Veep has made off with that prize twice before, in 2014 and 2016; showrunner David Mandel sent a shout-out to star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, currently battling cancer, but noting that she would have skipped the ceremony anyway, “because the show’s not televised.”
Get Out, on the other hand, was Jordan Peele’s first WGA win – and his first solo produced screenplay, so there’s that – though he was previously nominated twice on the TV side as part of the staff of Key and Peele. And Call Me By Your Name’s James Ivory was also a first-time nominee (at 79 years old), though he was nominated as Best Director by both the Oscars and the Director’s Guild of America for his direction of the films A Room With a View, Howard’s End, and The Remains of the Day.
And what, as we must ask, do those awards mean for the Oscars? Hard to say. Since 2010, the Oscars and WGA award winners for original screenplay have missed nearly as often as they’ve lined up (The Hurt Locker, Midnight in Paris, Her, and Spotlight went on to win the Oscar; Inception, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Grand Budapest Hotel did not). The Adapted Screenplay winners are much more consistent (The Social Network, The Descendants, Argo, The Imitation Game, and The Big Short all went on to win the Oscar, though Moonlight throws a monkey wrench into this comparison, because WGA considered it Original and the AMPAS placed it in Adapted). But Variety’s Kris Tapley, who knows these things, makes an interesting point: Get Out won the WGA award over perceived Best Picture front-runner The Shape of Water, and the last time a film won Best Picture without earlier winning a WGA award (when it qualified) was Million Dollar Baby, clear back in 2004.
Anyway, here’s the full list of winners:
Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele
Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory, based on the novel by André Aciman
Jane, Written by Brett Morgen
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale
Big Little Lies
Short-Form New Media Adapted
“Starboy,” Zac & Mia
“Time’s Arrow,” BoJack Horseman
“Chicanery,” Better Call Saul
“Rosario’s Quinceanera,” Will & Grace
Comedy/Variety Talk Series
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Comedy/Variety Sketch Series
Saturday Night Live
39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors