LOS ANGELES – It may be hard to believe, but the USC Scripter Award is honoring its 27th recipient this year. The Scripter is the equivalent of an Adapted Screenplay honor for both the screenwriter and the author of the original source material. The last five winners were “Up in the Air,” “The Social Network,” “The Descendants,” “Argo” and “12 Years A Slave.” Your 2015 winner? The duo behind “The Imitation Game.”
Andrew Hodges, author of “Alan Turing: The Enigma,” wasn't on hand, but screenwriter Graham Moore was and the Oscar nominee seemed to be caught off guard by the win.
“I need to thank the man who made 'The Imitation Game,' my director Morten Tyldum,” Moore said in accepting the award. “I would do an impression of his Norwegian accent, but all he'd say was, 'Good job Gra-ham!' Our producers Nora Grossman and Teddy Schwarzman, whose tireless dedication brought this story to life and Alan Turing's life on screen. They are the reason I am here now.”
He continued, “I'll tell you guys now that if you want to write for the screen there is this actor and if you get him to read your lines it seems witty and smart and brilliant and his name – it's weird to say – it's Benedict Cumberbatch. Look him up. Swear to god, that kid is going places.”
Moore also noted, “Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage and hear people applaud for his name and I do right now and that's a profound injustice. All I can do is that state is that for the rest of my life I can endeavor to repair it. This is for Alan.”
Other nominees on hand included Anthony McCarten (“The Theory of Everything”), author Cheryl Strayed (“Wild”). Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), Paul Thomas Anderson and Thomas Pynchon (“Inherent Vice”), Jane Hawking (“The Theory of Everything”) and Hodges did not attend the ceremony.
The event, which acts as a fundraiser for the USC Libraries, also honored writer Walter Mosley with the Scripter Literary Achievement Award. Best known for his novel “Devil in a Blue Dress,” Mosley gave an insightful speech about how it was the librarians who were the last line of holding individual freedoms after the events of Sept. 11.
As for Moore, he'll go up against Damien Chazelle for “Whiplash,” Jason Hall for “American Sniper” as well as Anderson and McCarten for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar on Feb. 22.