WGA has sense of humor

Feature screenplay noms sprinkled with comedy

The WGA Award nominations for adapted and original screenplays, announced Thursday, feature most early favorites for the best picture Oscar but also more comedies than other guilds' recent feature film noms.

Nominations in the original screenplay category went to "Babel," written by Guillermo Arriaga (Paramount Vantage); "Little Miss Sunshine," by Michael Arndt (Fox Searchlight Pictures); "The Queen," by Peter Morgan (Miramax Films); "Stranger Than Fiction," by Zach Helm (Sony Pictures Entertainment); and "United 93," by Paul Greengrass (Universal Pictures).

The adapted screenplay nominees are:

"Borat," screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer; story by Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines and Todd Phillips; based on a character created by Sacha Baron Cohen (20th Century Fox);

"The Departed," screenplay by William Monahan, based on the motion picture "Infernal Affairs," written by Alan Mak and Felix Chong (Warner Bros. Pictures);

"The Devil Wears Prada," screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna, based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger (20th Century Fox);

"Little Children," screenplay by Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta (New Line Cinema); and

"Thank You for Smoking," screenplay by Jason Reitman, based on the novel by Christopher Buckley (Fox Searchlight Pictures).

The inclusion of mockumentary "Borat" is interesting, as the nom comes despite the public perception, an illusion, that the film was entirely improvised. And like that comedy, "Prada," "Fiction" and "Smoking" hadn't figured in recent noms announced by the DGA and the Producers Guild of America.

WGA-nominated pictures previously recognized both by the directors and producers, and thus figuring in early Oscar best-pic handicapping, include "Babel," "Departed, "Sunshine" and "Queen." Only "Dreamgirls" drew DGA and PGA nominations but failed to get a WGA nom.

Nominees in television categories were previously announced.

All winners will be announced Feb. 11 when the WGA stages its annual award gala, with simultaneous ceremonies set for the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City and the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York.