“Thanks to word leaking out of the New York WGA East show, anyone [at LA’s WGA award ceremony] with a Blackberry or iPhone knew that Argo and Zero Dark Thirty won their respective Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay awards long before the actual winners in Los Angeles even knew,” Deadline‘s Pete Hammond wrote last night. “The announcement of Argo‘s win came fully an hour and a half [before the LA announcement].
“It seems a shame that an awards ceremony has to be run like this,” Hammond laments. “Can’t we keep it a secret until the envelopes are opened on both coasts? C’mon, this is the social media age. Stuff leaks out fast. Let’s fix it.”
Obviously the WGA West and WGA East officers need to coordinate their ceremonies accordingly. But that was apparent with the advent of cell phones. The problem is either the WGA East announcing too early or the WGA West announcing too late. (Or both.) Either way it suggests that WGA honchos on both coasts share the same cluelessness about social media that currently plagues Republican bigwigs, as Robert Draper‘s 2.14 N.Y. Times Magazine article points out.
Going out on a limb, Hammond writes that Argo‘s Best Adapted Screenplay prize “pretty much seals the deal for this film” winning big at the Oscars. “The WGA votes were all in by Friday January 25th, just before the PGA and SAG coronations of Argo were announced…with Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards, PGA, DGA, SAG, BAFTA and now WGA major wins Argo is in just about as commanding a position as any film could possibly be on the cusp of marching into the Academy Awards.”
Hammond will never say it, but the “sympathy for snubbed Ben Affleck” factor that produced surprise and exhilaration following Argo‘s BFCA/Critics Choice and Golden Globe wins has deflated into a kind of slumbering, heavy-lidded depression.
We all want something electric to happen at the Oscars, the prime example being the surprise wins by The Pianist at the end of the 2003 Oscar ceremony. But that possibility is now almost completely out the window. Where is the exhilaration in Ang Lee winning Best Director? The only possible jolt would be Robert DeNiro overcoming the apparent advantage held by Lincoln‘s Tommy Lee Jones following his SAG win by taking the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
Hammond pooh-pohs Mark Boal’s WGA Original Screenplay win for Zero Dark Thirty, as a harbinger of Oscar success “since WGA rules banned Oscar-nominated scripts like Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained and Michael Haneke‘s Amour, both front-running Oscar entries. This is still a wide open race at the Academy Awards but the WGA imprimatur gives Boal a nice boost.”
If Amour wins the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, okay….c’est la vie. But a Tarantino/Django win would be, from my perspective, appalling.