'The Descendants,' 'Moneyball' Among the Nominees for 24th USC Libraries Scripter Award

 Merie Wallace/Fox Searchlight

Awards season frontrunners The Descendents and Moneyball are among the nominees for this year’s USC Libraries Scripter Award.

A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy round out the list for the 24th annual award, which honors the authors and screenwriters of what the 32-member selection committee deem the “year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation.”

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The 2012 finalists for the awards, in alphabetical order by film title, are: Christopher Hampton for A Dangerous Method, adapted from the nonfiction book A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein by John Kerr and Hampton's 2002 stage play The Talking Cure; screenwriters Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash for The Descendants, adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel and short story, “The Minor Wars”); screenwriter Moira Buffini for Jane Eyre, adapted from the 1847 book by Charlotte Brontë; screenwriters Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin for Moneyball, based on Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game; and screenwriters Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, who adapted author John le Carré's thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Zaillian and Sorkin are past Scripter recipients, while Payne, Hampton, and le Carré are all former Scripter finalists. Zaillian won for his work on Awakenings, Schindler’s List, and A Civil Action. Sorkin won last year for The Social Network.

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Payne was a finalist for for About Schmidt and Sideways while Hampton was previously nominated his work on Carrington and Atonement. Le Carre was nominated for his book The Constant Gardener.

Inevitably, other writers and works failed to make the list. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Zaillian’s adaptation of the Stieg Larrson novel, and Hugo, John Logan’s take on Brian Selznick’s kids book, are some of the more prominent titles that did not make the cut. 

War Horse, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and The Help are among the other major titles that were overlooked.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 also was among the missing. Although the final film in the series got high marks from both critics and audiences, none of the screen adapations of J.K. Rowling's books earned a single Scripter nomination during the series' decade-long run.   

The Scripters will be held Feb. 18 at USC. Paul Haggis will be honored with the 2012 USC Scripter Literary Achievement Award.

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