‘Argo,’ ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ win Writers Guild Awards

Argo and Zero Dark ThirtyWGA award winners 'Argo' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures/Columbia Pictures)

Argo” slays “Lincoln” -- again! The 2013 Writers Guild of America announced their winners tonight, and Chris Terrio won best adapted screenplay for “Argo.” Mark Boal’s script for “Zero Dark Thirty” won the other key movie category: best original screenplay.

By now, a week ahead of the Oscars, it’s clear that Hollywood favors Ben Affleck’s humor-peppered seventies political drama over Steven Spielberg’s more serious presidential one. In the past month, Ben Affleck’s movie has won at the DGA, PGA, SAG’s, and ACE Eddies – despite his snub by the Academy for Best Director.

When the WGA, the last major guild, tossed top honors for adapted screenplay to “Argo” scribe Terrio (interviewed by Yahoo! Movies this week), “Lincoln’s” Tony Kushner had to take another loss on the chin. And it appears that team “Lincoln” will be the relative underdog at the Academy Awards next week despite its superior twelve nominations.

The win for Boal’s “Zero Dark Thirty” does not signal a late resurgence for the critics’ darling. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and once considered an Oscar frontrunner, it has fallen behind after the DGA snubbed Bigelow and controversy erupted over the film’s depiction of torture. Boal’s meticulously researched screenplay will also face stiffer competition at the Academy Awards. Next week it will battle against two WGA ineligible screenplays, “Django Unchained” and “Amour.” Both those scripts could potentially win over “ZD30.”

And, finally, the WGA for Best Documentary Screenplay went to Malik Bendejelloul for “Searching for Sugar Man.” Mark your Oscar ballots now. This debut feature documentary is as much of a sure thing as Daniel Day Lewis winning for Best Actor.

Below is the list of WGA nominees with winners in bold

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

"Argo" (Chris Terrio)
"Life of Pi" (David Magee)
"Lincoln" (Tony Kushner)
"Silver Linings Playbook" (David O. Russell)
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (Stephen Chbosky)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
"Zero Dark Thirty" (Mark Boal)
"Moonrise Kingdom" (Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola)
"Flight" (John Gatins)
"Looper" (Rian Johnson)
"The Master" (Paul Thomas Anderson).

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

"Searching for Sugar Man" (Malik Bendejelloul)
"The Invisible War" (Kirby Dick)
"West of Memphis" (Amy Berg and Billy McMillin)
"The Central Park Five" (Sarah Burns, David McMahon, and Ken Burns)
"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" (Alex Gibney)
"We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists" (Brian Knappenberger)

Watch a half-hour look at the true story behind 'Argo':