The writers of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won the Writers Guild of America Award for best original screenplay tonight while first-time screenwriter Graham Moore won for best adapted screenplay for “The Imitation Game.”
Wes Anderson wrote the screenplay for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and was joined by Hugo Guinness in writing the story of the comedy starring Ralph Fiennes as a concierge who teams up with an employee (Tony Revolori) to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder.
In his acceptance speech at the Century Plaza Hotel, Anderson noted that in the mid-1990s he lived nearby with Owen Wilson at what was then known as the Century City Inn and is now a Holiday Inn Express when they were working on Anderson’s first feature film screenplay for “Bottle Rocket.”.
“We managed to chop 215 pages out of our first script,” said Anderson, who declined to speak with reporters backstage. “I can think of no better neighborhood to accept this sweeping bird of prey.”
Guinness did not attend the ceremony.
The Writers Guild Award was the first for Anderson, who had been nominated for “Moonrise Kingdom” in 2013 and “The Royal Tenenbaums” in 2002.
Anderson and Guinness won in a field that also included the writers of “Boyhood,” “Foxcatcher,” “Nightcrawler” and “Whiplash.”
The writers of “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Boyhood,” “Foxcatcher” and “Nightcrawler” are all nominated for the Oscar for best original screenplay, along with the writing team for the script for “Birdman,” who had won the Golden Globe award for best motion picture screenplay last month.
Damien Chazelle, the screenwriter of “Whiplash” received a best adapted screenplay Oscar nomination.
Graham Moore won for best adapted screenplay for “The Imitation Game,” winning in a field that also included the writers of “American Sniper,” “Gone Girl,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Wild.”
Moore said backstage he wrote the screenplay for “The Imitation Game,” the story of British cryptanalyst Alan Turing who helped solve the Enigma code during World War II and was later prosecuted for his homosexuality, on a spec basis five years ago “because I thought it was an important story.”
Moore said he first heard of Turing as a teenager when he was a “huge computer nerd.”
“Among among awkward techy teenagers like myself, without a lot of friends, Alan Turing was a tremendous legend, a tremendous inspiration,” Moore said.
“After I got older and I did not become a computer programmer and became a writer instead, it was amazing to me no one had done a film on Alan Turing. If anyone’s life deserved to be told onscreen, it was Alan Turing’s.”
Moore said he had never been on a film set before “The Imitation Game,” which he called “the world’s best film school.”
The other nominees in the category were the writers from “American Sniper,” “Gone Girl,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Wild.”
Moore and “American Sniper” screenwriter Jason Hall are also nominated for the best adapted screenplay Oscar, along with Chazelle, Paul Thomas Anderson for “Inherent Vice” and Anthony McCarten for “The Theory of Everything.”
Winning the WGA honor does not guarantee success on Oscar night for writers.
Spike Jonze won both original screenplay awards last year for “Her,” but the WGA’s adapted screenplay honor went to Billy Ray for “Captain Phillips” while the Oscar went to John Ridley for “12 Years a Slave.”
In 2013, the WGA honored Mark Boal’s “Zero Dark Thirty” for original screenplay, but the Oscar went to Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained.”
In the television categories, FX’s “Louie” and HBO’s “True Detective” both won two awards. “Louie” won for best comedy series and best episodic comedy, while “True Detective” won for best drama series and best new series.
Acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar received the guild’s Jean Renoir Award, honoring an international writer who has “advanced the literature of motion pictures.” Margaret Nagle, the screenwriter of “The Good Lie” — the tale of a women who assists Sudanese refugees — received the Paul Selvin Award for shining a light on constitutional and civil rights issues.
Actor/director Ben Affleck received the Valentine Davies Award, which honors members whose humanitarian efforts “have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere.” “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes received the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement.
Television writer/producer Jeff Melvoin received the Morgan Cox Award for service to the guild.
Harold Ramis, the late actor/director/writer best known for co-writing films such as “Animal House,” “Caddyshack,” “Ghostbusters,” “Stripes” and “Groundhog Day,” was honored with the guild’s Screen Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement.
Here is a complete list of winners:
— “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” screenplay by Wes Anderson; story by Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
— “The Imitation Game,” written Graham Moore, based on the book “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges
— “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz,” written by Brian Knappenberger
— “True Detective,” Written by Nic Pizzolatto; HBO
— “Louie,” Written by Louis CK; FX
— “True Detective,” Written by Nic Pizzolatto; HBO
LONG FORM ORIGINAL
— “Deliverance Creek,” Written by Melissa Carter; Lifetime
LONG FORM ADAPTED
— “Olive Kitteridge,” Teleplay by Jane Anderson, Based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout; HBO
SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ORIGINAL
— “Episode 113: “Rachel” (High Maintenance), Written by Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair; helpingyoumaintain.com
— “Brick Like Me” (The Simpsons), Written by Brian Kelley; Fox
— “The Last Call” (The Good Wife), Written by Robert King & Michelle King; CBS
— “So Did the Fat Lady” (Louie), Written by Louis C.K.; FX
COMEDY / VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK) – SERIES
— “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner; HBO
COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS
— “71st Annual Golden Globe Awards,” Written by Barry Adelman; Special Material by Alex Baze, Dave Boone, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jon Macks, Sam Means, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, Mike Shoemaker; NBC
QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
— “Hollywood Game Night,” Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Alex Chauvin, Ann Slichter; NBC
— “General Hospital,” Written by Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Elizabeth Page, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten; ABC
CHILDREN’S SCRIPT – EPISODIC AND SPECIALS
— “Haunted Heartthrob” (Haunted Hathaways), Written by Bob Smiley; Nickelodeon
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS
— “United States of Secrets: The Program (Part One)” (Frontline); PBS; Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
— “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
TV NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
— “Nelson Mandela: A Man Who Changed the World” (World News with Diane Sawyer), Written by Diane Sawyer, Lisa Ferri, Dave Bloch; ABC News
TV NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
— “Nowhere to Go” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Oriana Zill de Granados & Michael Rey; CBS
— “Three Shots Rang Out: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” Written by Darren Reynolds; ABC News Radio
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
— “World News This Week,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
— “Civil Rights at 50,” Written by Jane Tillman Irving; WCBS Radio
ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA OR RADIO)
— “How I Met Your Mother,” Written by Dan Greenberger; CBS
VIDEO GAME WRITING
— “The Last of Us: Left Behind,” written by Neil Druckmann; Sony Computer Entertainment.