‘Call Me By Your Name’ & ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Take Top Honors at USC Scripter Awards

     February 11, 2018


As we inch closer and closer to the Oscars, other awards continue to give hints as to what we should expect when the big night arrives. Whereas The Shape of Water and Guillermo del Toro look primed to take home statues for Best Picture and Best Director in the aftermath of the DGA and PGA awards, the SAG awards and Golden Globes point toward Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, and Gary Oldman taking the acting awards. And if last night’s USC Scripter Awards are any indication, octogenarian James Ivory now looks likely to take home Oscar honors for his adapted screenplay for Call Me By Your Name.


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The USC Scripter awards have correctly predicted the Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay every year thus far this decade. The last time that it diverged was in 2009 when USC gave its top film honors to Lee DanielsPrecious in advance of Jason Reitman‘s Up in the Air bringing home the gold at the Oscars. This also happened elsewhere in the aughts – Children of Men over The Departed in 2006, Capote over Brokeback Mountain in 2005 – but as of 2010, the picks have lined up exactly. If a similar break were to happen this year, hopefully the Oscar would be presented to Mudbound or Logan over Aaron Sorkin‘s mind-numbing script for Molly’s Game.

As for the TV side of things, USC gave its big award to (you guessed it) The Handmaid’s Tale, specifically Bruce Miller‘s screenplay for “Offred.” Miller beat out stiff competition from Big Little Lies, Alias Grace, and Mindhunter, even if the award would have been more deservingly placed in the hands of David Lynch and Mark Frost or any of the writers behind Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It. That being said, neither the Oscars nor USC have a history of awarding truly daring and ambitious shows, just the ones that seem most politically timely from the outset. Following that logic, the winners were about as unsurprising and deserving as one could have expected. You can see the full list of winners and nominees below.

Here’s the full list of nominees for the 2018 USC Scripter Awards:

Film Adaptation

Author André Aciman and screenwriter James Ivory for “Call Me by Your Name” – WINNER

Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for “The Disaster Artist” and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book “The Disaster Artist:
My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”

Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold and authors Roy Thomas, Len Weinand John Romita Sr., for “Logan”

Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann for “The Lost City of Z”

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom for “Molly’s Game”

Screenwriters Virgil Williams and Dee Rees and author Hillary Jordan for “Mudbound”

Screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston for “Wonder Woman”

Television Adaptation

Screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood for “Alias Grace”

David E. Kelley for the episode “You Get What You Need” from “Big Little Lies” and author Liane Moriarty

Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One” from “Genius” and author Walter Isaacson for his book “Einstein: His Life and Word”

Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred” from “The Handmaid’s Tale” and author Margaret Atwood – WINNER

Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe and Alexander Woo for the television film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and author Rebecca Skloot

Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10” of “Mindhunter” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit”

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