Top honors from the Writers Guild of America went to the screenwriters of "Gosford Park" and "A Beautiful Mind" on Saturday night, adding momentum to both films' screenplay bids at the Academy Awards.
Julian Fellowes won the best original screenplay prize for "Gosford Park," a class-warfare satire about murder among the wealthy at an English country manor.
Akiva Goldsman claimed best adapted screenplay with "A Beautiful Mind," based on Sylvia Nasar's best-selling biography of the schizophrenic mathematics professor John Forbes Nash Jr.
Both movies are also nominated in those categories at the Oscars, which will be awarded on March 24. "Gosford Park" has seven Oscar nominations while "A Beautiful Mind" has eight, and both are also contending for best picture.
Winners of the Guild's 54th annual awards, which are considered a bellwether for the Oscars, were announced in ceremonies held in Beverly Hills by the WGA-West, and in New York by the WGA-East.
"Gosford Park" defeated the revisionist musical "Moulin Rouge;" "The Man Who Wasn't There," a black-and-white thriller about a laconic blackmailer; "Monster's Ball," in which a racist white man and a black woman fall in love; and "The Royal Tenenbaums," a quirky comedy about a family of failed geniuses.
Competition for "A Beautiful Mind" included "Black Hawk Down," based on Mark Bowden's book about a deadly U.S. battle in Mogadishu, Somalia; "Bridget Jones's Diary," from Helen Fielding's novel about a single woman's romances in London; "Ghost World," based on Daniel Clowes' graphic novel about a disenchanted teen-ager; and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," adapted from the first part of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy trilogy.
David Angell, the co-creator of the NBC sitcoms "Frasier" and "Wings" who died Sept. 11 as a passenger on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, received a special posthumous award for excellence.
"In life, David Angell was a real gentleman, bringing a kindness and warmth to his scripts, his shows and his staff," said WGA-West President Victoria Riskin. "In death, he has become an inspiration to many who never knew him personally."
Other WGA winners announced Saturday:
Original long form: "Conspiracy," Loring Mandel.
Adapted long form: "Anne Frank," teleplay by Kirk Ellis, based on the book by Melissa Muller.
Episodic comedy: "Italy", parts 1 and 2 ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Philip Rosenthal.
Comedy-variety, music, awards, tributes, specials: "The Kennedy Center Honors," written by Don Baer and George Stevens Jr., film sequences written by Sara Lukinson, Harry Miles Muheim.
Comedy-variety (including talk) series: "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Ellen Barancik, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Jonathan Glaser, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Andrew Secunda, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg.
Daytime serials: "All My Children," Agnes Nixon, Jean Passanante, Craig Carlson, Frederick Johnson, N. Gail Lawrence, Victor Miller, Juliet Law Packer, Addie Walsh, Mimi Leahey, Bettina F. Bradbury, Charlotte Gibson, David Hiltbrand, Janet Iacobuzio, Royal Miller, John Piroman, Rebecca Taylor, Neal Bell.
Children's script: "My Louisiana Sky," teleplay by Anna Sandor, based on a book by Kimberly Willis Holt.
Documentary, other than current events: (Tie) "Hitler's Lost Sub," ("Nova"), Rushmore DeNooyer; "Scottsboro, An American Tragedy," ("The American Experience"), Barak Goodman.
News, analysis, feature or commentary: "The Cruelty Connection," Jonathan Kaplan; CBS-TV (WBBM).
Documentary: "Eye on Death Row," ("Weekend Roundup"), Wendy Zentz; CBS Radio Network.
News, regularly scheduled: "The Recount," Paul Farry; CBS Radio Network
News, analysis, feature or commentary: "Preserving American Sound," ("Perspective"), Scott L. Anderson; ABC News Radio.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun