LOS ANGELES – The Howard Hughes film biography "The Aviator," the boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby" and the road-trip romp "Sideways" were among Writers Guild of America screenplay nominees (search) Thursday.
Along with screenwriter John Logan for "The Aviator," original-screenplay nominees were Charlie Kaufman for the quirky love story "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"; Zach Braff for the romance "Garden State"; Keir Pearson and Terry George for "Hotel Rwanda," based on a true story amid the 1994 Rwandan genocide; and Bill Condon for "Kinsey," a film biography of sexuality researcher Alfred Kinsey.
Adapted screenplay nominees were Paul Haggis for "Million Dollar Baby," (search) based on stories from F.X. Toole's collection "Rope Burns"; Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for "Sideways," (search) based on Rex Pickett's novel; Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for the romantic drama "Before Sunset," based on characters Linklater and Kim Krizan created for their film "Before Sunrise"; Tina Fey for "Mean Girls," based on Rosalind Wiseman's book "Queen Bees and Wannabes"; and Jose Rivera for the Che Guevara road-trip adventure "The Motorcycle Diaries," based on memoirs by Guevara and traveling companion Alberto Granado.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony Feb. 19, about a week before the Academy Awards. The guild honors could give the winners a last-minute boost for the Oscars, whose balloting closes Feb. 22.
"Finding Neverland," a high-profile film in the running for Academy Award nominations, was ineligible because the film was not produced under conditions of the guild's current labor contract.
Another likely Oscar contender — Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," his assault on President Bush's actions regarding the Sept. 11 attacks — will compete in a separate documentary category created because of a surge in popularity for nonfiction films.
The documentary prize will be awarded in a separate guild ceremony sometime in February. (Moore's documentary "Bowling for Columbine" won the guild's 2002 original-screenplay honor.)