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“Borat” nominated for Writers Guild award

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Borat has been nominated for the Writer’s Guild of America Award. Read on:

Box office sensation “Borat,” a largely improvised faux documentary about a boorish Kazakh journalist, gained more Oscar momentum on Thursday as it was nominated with four other comedies for the 2006 Writers Guild of America Awards.

“Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen and three collaborators will vie for best adapted screenplay against the writers of two other comedies, “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Thank You For Smoking,” and two deadly serious dramas, “Little Children” and “The Departed.”

Two more comedies, “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Stranger Than Fiction,” were nominated for best original screenplay along with three dramas — the globe-spanning saga “Babel,” royal family portrait “The Queen” and the September 11 thriller “United 93.”

The list comes out less than two weeks before nominations for the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s top honours, are announced. Due to overlapping membership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which oversees the Oscars, the WGA awards are regarded as a key bellwether for a film’s Oscar chances, especially in the screenplay categories.

All the writers who made the cut this year are first-time WGA nominees, a guild spokesman said.

But one of the big surprises from this year’s roster of contenders is the unusually large number of comedies — half of the 10 nominated screenplays — competing for an award that tends to favour dramas.

“I can’t tell you how happy that makes me,” said Michael Arndt, who wrote “Little Miss Sunshine.” The offbeat comedy centres on an eccentric family rushing across the country in a broken-down Volkswagen bus to get their plucky young daughter to a beauty contest, and how a string of disappointments brings them all closer together.

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