By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa with Megan Johnson
January 5, 2011
“The Town,” Ben Affleck’s Charlestown cops ’n’ robbers flick, picked up some serious Oscar mojo yesterday, with both the Writers Guild and Producers Guild nominating the made-in-Mass. movie for awards.
That puts Ben’s baby in the same elite company as two other Bay State flicks — “The Fighter” and “The Social Network” — and on the fast track for feting at the Academy Awards!
The Writers Guild of America, made up of movie and TV screenwriters, nominated “The Town” in its adapted screenplay category. Affleck, who shares an Oscar with Matt Damon for their “Good Will Hunting” original screenplay, was named along with Peter Craig and Somerville homey Aaron Stockard. They based their script on “Prince of Thieves,” a novel written by Canton’s own Chuck Hogan.
Affleck & Co. will face off in the Writers Guild Awards against “The Social Network,” the made-in-Cambridge flick about the birthing of Facebook in a Harvard dorm room. It was written by “West Wing” scribe Aaron Sorkin and based on Boston writer Ben Mezrich’s book proposal, “The Accidental Billionaires.” The other films in that category are “127 Hours,” “I Love You Phillip Morris” and “True Grit.”
Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg’s labor of love, “The Fighter,” the Lowell-set story about “Irish” Micky Ward, written by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, will compete in the original screenplay category. It’s up against “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right” and dark-horse “Please Give.”
“The Fighter” and “The Social Network” also were nominated for awards by the Producers Guild of America, but the TV and movie producers’ decision to include “The Town” took industry observers by surprise.
“The only film that is raising eyebrows slightly is ‘The Town,’” wrote indiewire.com. “Ever since the film became a box-office hit and earned strong notices from critics (and following the very lukewarm reception to Clint Eastwood’s ‘Hereafter’), Warner Bros. has made a strong push for the film to sneak into the top 10 at the Best Picture race and it looks like it may pay off.”
The Academy Awards nominations come out Jan. 25 and the statues are handed out Feb. 27. As always, do stay tuned. . . .