by Rob Boylan
Somewhat shocking news out of the WGA Awards tonight. According to Deadline.com, the big feature winners were Chris Nolan's Inception for Best Original Screenplay, while Aaron Sorkin took home the Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network.
Sorkin's win was an expected one, leading up to an expected Oscar win next month, but Inception comes as a surprise winner for Nolan, who tends to get ignored at the big awards. The Kids Are All Right was thought to be the likely winner, but there was no clear frontrunner for this award, with Black Swan's nomination mitigated by not also getting an Oscar nomination, and The King's Speech receiving an Oscar nod, but not a WGA nod, because it did not meet union criteria for nomination.
How will this affect those films' Oscar hopes? The writers' branch of the Academy is largely made up of WGA cardholders, however it's a small block of the roughly 12,000 WGA members (375 members, according to The Wrap). You only have to look back to last year's awards to find the two awards split, as Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman's Up in the Air won Best Adapted Screenplay at the WGA Awards, while Geoffrey Fletcher's Precious won the Oscar.
Despite Inception's win, David Seidler's The King's Speech probably remains the favorite for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar at this point, and even seems now to be set for a major category sweep.