Writers exalt Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' ahead of Oscars

Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:36am EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wes Anderson's Oscar-nominated eccentric caper "The Grand Budapest Hotel" won the top film prize at the Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, amid a sharp-witted show attended by Hollywood's scriptwriters.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," up for nine Oscars including best picture on Feb. 22, beat frontrunner, Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," for best screenplay.

Anderson accepted his award by quipping that the location of the awards show, held in a hotel in the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles, "was formerly was the backlot of one of the great cinema studios and now home to this wonderful Hyatt, filled with entertainment attorneys."

Graham Moore from "The Imitation Game," about British World War Two Nazi code breaker Alan Turing, won best adapted screenplay and dedicated his award to the late Turing, who died in 1954 a broken man, persecuted for his homosexuality.

"He was probably the greatest genius of his generation and I am a screenwriter from Chicago. So it's very strange to be standing on stage now when he should be," Moore said.

Hosted by "Friends" and "The Comeback" star Lisa Kudrow, the awards, voted for by the members of the Writers Guild of America, has had mixed results in predicting the best screenplay Oscars awards.

Last year, Spike Jonze's "Her" won both the Writers Guild Award (WGA) and the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, but the WGA for best original screenplay went to Billy Ray's "Captain Phillips" while John Ridley won the Oscar for "12 Years a Slave."

In the best documentary screenplay category, Oscar nominees "Finding Vivian Maier" and "Last Days in Vietnam" lost out to "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz."   Continued...

Actress Tilda Swinton and director Wes Anderson pose during a photocall to promote the movie "The Grand Budapest Hotel" at the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 6, 2014.  REUTERS/Thomas Peter