Writers Guild announces film award nominees

— Five movies about culture clashes and strangers in strange lands collected nominations Thursday for best original movie script from the Writers Guild of America.

Among the contenders for best original screenplay were "Bend It Like Beckham," about the daughter of a traditionalist Indian Sikh family in England who dreams of playing soccer; "Lost in Translation," with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as lonely Americans in a Tokyo hotel; and "Dirty Pretty Things," about a Nigerian immigrant who uncovers grim dealings in London's underbelly.

The other nominees were "The Station Agent," about an embittered dwarf who makes friends despite trying to isolate himself, and "In America," director Jim Sheridan's semi-autobiographical tale of an Irish immigrant family struggling to survive in New York.

In the category for best adapted screenplay, the true-life racehorse drama "Seabiscuit" and the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" were picked to compete against "American Splendor," about comic book writer Harvey Pekar, and the novels-turned-movies "Cold Mountain" and "Mystic River."

Winners will be announced Feb. 21, about a week before the Academy Awards.

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