Bridesmaids, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Help were among the film nominees chosen on Thursday for annual Writers Guild Awards, but the screenwriters behind War Horse failed to make the cut in Hollywood's race toward Oscars.
In a list of surprises, The Descendants and Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris also earned screenplay nominations from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which represents film and television writers.
But likely Oscar contender The Artist -- a French-made silent movie in black and white -- was ineligible under WGA rules, as were other high-profile films including My Week with Marilyn and the Margaret Thatcher movie The Iron Lady.
Writers Guild nominations are restricted those movies made under the trade association's rules on pay and working conditions, or pacts struck with affiliated foreign groups.
The Steven Spielberg-directed War Horse and September 11 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close were eligible for inclusion but not nominated. The same fate befell political drama The Ides of March.
Instead cancer comedy 50/50 and Young Adult picked up nominations for best original screenplay, along with the little-seen independent drama Win Win starring Paul Giamatti as a high school wrestling coach.
The Martin Scorsese 3D film Hugo and Brad Pitt vehicle Moneyball rounded out the 10 nominations for adapted and original screenplays.
The Writers Guild also announced nominations for documentary screenplay on Thursday, giving nods to Senna, about the life of late Brazilian race car driver Ayrton Senna, the Pina Bausch dance homage Pina, and Chilean film Nostalgia for the Light.
Position Among the Stars, which is set in the slums of Jakarta, and If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front also also nominated.
The Writers Guild Awards will be handed out at ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles on February 19.