02/07/2003 at 01:00 AM EST
Denzel Washington's movie "Antwone Fisher," in which he stars and makes his directorial debut, may have been overlooked by critics and awards groups, but not by the Writers Guild of America, which represents U.S. film and TV writers.
The guild on Thursday named the touching drama among its nominees for 2002's top screenplays. The union, which influences Oscar choices for Best Screenplay, also nominated -- for the first time ever -- a documentary, "Bowling for Columbine."
Michael Moore's often-funny and eye-opening film made it into the best original movie script category, as did "Fisher."
Joining them in the category: the little independent picture that swallowed the summer blockbusters, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," from writer/actress Nia Vardalos; Todd Haynes's deadpan '50s send-up "Far From Heaven"; and Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York," written by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan.
Best adapted screenplay nominations went to "Chicago," by Bill Condon; "The Hours," by David Hare; "Adaptation," by Charlie Kaufman and the nonexistent (except in the movie) Donald Kaufman; "About Schmidt," by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor; and "About a Boy" by Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz.
Among TV contenders, episodes of "Sex and the City" took three of the seven nods in the comedy division. The others in the running are "The Bernie Mac Show," "Scrubs," "Frasier" and "Ed."
Winners will be announced March 8. The Oscars are March 23. And the nominations are out next Tuesday.