Writers Guild hands out best screenplay awards

The Writers Guild of America gave its screenplay awards to "As Good as It Gets" and "L.A. Confidential" in a ceremony that usually serves as a pointer to who will win screenplay Oscars.

Mark Andrus and James L. Brooks won the award for best original screenplay for "As Good as It Gets," while "L.A. Confidential" writers Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson took the award for best adapted screenplay.

The awards were presented at a gala ceremony last week in Beverly Hills, Calif. They are voted on by members of the Writers Guild.

The winners of the Writers Guild awards often go on to win the same categories in the Academy Awards. Last year's winners, Billy Bob Thornton for his adaptation of "Sling Blade" and Joel and Ethan Coen's "Fargo," both won Oscars.

"As Good as It Gets" has been nominated for seven Oscars including best picture, Jack Nicholson as best actor, and Helen Hunt as best actress, in addition to best original screenplay. "L.A. Confidential," an adaptation of James Ellroy's novel, has been nominated for nine Oscars, including best picture and Kim Basinger for best supporting actress.

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