LOS ANGELES – What a difference a year makes. The Writers Guild of America gathered in pure celebration Saturday night to hand out its top awards – with key feature prizes going to the critical darling “Slumdog Millionaire” and the biographical drama “Milk.” The scene was in sharp contrast to last year’s event, at which the honors were doled out during a break in strike talks.
Simon Beaufoy was awarded another in a string of critical and guild honors for “Slumdog” as the recipient of the adapted screenplay honor. The film, based on the novel “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup, is considered the Oscar front-runner with 10 nominations, including one for Beaufoy, who did not attend the WGA ceremony.
Dustin Lance Black received a standing ovation after his win for original screenplay for the inspirational drama “Milk,” about slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. In one of the night’s most emotional moments, Black thanked “God for a dream come true, and I thank God for giving us Harvey Milk.”
The awards took place simultaneously at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and at the Hudson Theatre in New York.
Other winners in film and TV categories included the following:
•Documentary screenplay: “Waltz With Bashir,” Ari Folman.
•Dramatic series: “Mad Men,” Lisa Albert, Jane Anderson, Rick Cleveland, Kater Gordon, David Isaacs, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Marti Noxon, Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner.
•Comedy series: “30 Rock,” Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Donald Glover, Andrew Guest, Matt Hubbard, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher, Ron Weiner.
•New series: “In Treatment,” Rodrigo Garcia, Bryan Goluboff, Davey Holmes, William Merritt Johnson, Amy Lippman, Sarah Treem.
•Long-form original: “Recount,” Danny Strong.
•Long-form adaptation: “John Adams” (“Episode 1, Join or Die” and “Episode 2, Independence”), Kirk Ellis.
•Comedy/variety series: “Saturday Night Live,” head writers – Seth Meyers, Andrew Steele, Paula Pell.