LOS ANGELES - 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."
HBO's gritty crime thriller "True Detective" won both best new series and best drama series for its creator Nic Pizzolatto, while FX's "Louie" won best comedy series for its creator and star Louis C.K. and writer Pamela Adlon. "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes received a lifetime achievement award for her television work and spoke of the need for more diversity in Hollywood.
Actor-director Ben Affleck was honoured for his humanitarian work with the Eastern Congo Initiative, aiming to improve the economy and hardships of the war-torn region.
The late Harold Ramis, the writer-director of films such as"Caddyshack," "Groundhog Day" and as Dr Egon Spengler in"Ghostbusters," received the Laurel award for screenwriting achievement, accepted by his family on his behalf.