With the Writers Guild of America having disqualified Another Year, Biutiful, Blue Valentine, The King’s Speech, The Ghost Writer, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone and The Way Back, their just-announced nominations seem a bit diminished in stature. Many of the winners have to be wondering if they made the cut only because eight heavy-hitters weren’t competing, so in some cases you have to take these noms with a grain of salt. It’s a little like wining a Best Actor Oscar after two of the nominees have suddenly died from the Black Plague.

We’re all presuming that Inception will win for Best Original Screenplay, The Social Network will take the Best Adapted Screenplay award and Inside Job will land the trophy for Best Documentary Screenplay. Still…

The Best Original Screenplay noms went to Black Swan (screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin; story by Andres Heinz); The Fighter (screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson); Inception (written by Christopher Nolan), The Kids Are All Right (written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg) and Please Give (written by Nicole Holofcener). The surprise nominees are obvious.

Winners will be honored at the 2011 Writers Guild Awards held on Saturday, February 5, 2011, at simultaneous ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles.

The Best Adapted Screenplay nominees are 127 Hours (screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy; based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston); I Love You Phillip Morris (written by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra; based on the book by Steven McVicker); The Social Network (screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich); The Town (screenplay by Peter Craig and Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard; based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan); and True Grit (screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen; based on the novel by Charles Portis).

Are you going to look me in the eye and tell me that The Town would have been nominated if The King’s Speech, The Ghost Writer and The Way Back had been in the running for Best Adapted Screenplay?

Cheers and back-slaps for two underdog Hollywood Elsewhere documentary favorites, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? and The Two Escobars, being nominated for Best Documentary Screenplay. Nilsson was written by director John Scheinfeld; The Two Escobars was written by co-directors Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist.

The other Best Documentary Screenplay nominees are Enemies of the People (written, directed, filmed and produced by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath; Freedom Riders (written, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson); Gasland (written and directed by Josh Fox); and Inside Job (produced, written and directed by Charles Ferguson; co-written by Chad Beck, Adam Bolt).