Friday, December 11, 2015

SAG Award Nominations Revealed!

There's no doubt that the movie world is focused on one thing right now, and that thing is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We're five days away from the most anticipated movie of the century and there is a buzz in the air. I think that there's a general sense that we're about to see something really special and I simply can't wait anymore. I'm going full Star Wars nerd right now and I know that I won't be focused on too much over the next week. But, the awards season is rolling right along and we have seen quite a few interesting developments. The National Board of Review, the LA Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle handed out some interesting awards (more on that in the coming days), but the first big guild to announce its nominees was the Screen Actors Guild. Let's get right to it. Check out the nominees below!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


Abraham Attah
Kurt Egyiawan
Idris Elba


Christian Bale
Steve Carell
Ryan Gosling
Melissa Leo
Hamish Linklater
John Magaro
Brad Pitt
Rafe Spall
Jeremy Strong
Marisa Tomei
Finn Wittrock


Billy Crudup
Brian D'Arcy James
Michael Keaton
Rachel McAdams
Mark Ruffalo
Liev Schrieber
John Slattery
Stanley Tucci


Neil Brown Jr.
Paul Giamatti
Corey Hawkins
Aldis Hodge
O'Shea Jackson Jr.
Jason Mitchell


Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Louis C.K.
Bryan Cranston
David James Elliott
Elle Fanning
John Goodman
Diane Lane
Helen Mirren
Michael Stuhlbarg
Alan Tudyk

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Bryan Cranston, TRUMBO

Johnny Depp, BLACK MASS

Leonardo DiCaprio, THE REVENANT

Michael Fassbender, STEVE JOBS

Eddie Redmayne, THE DANISH GIRL

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, CAROL

Brie Larson, ROOM

Helen Mirren, WOMAN IN GOLD

Saoirse Ronan, BROOKLYN

Sarah Silverman, I SMILE BACK

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale, THE BIG SHORT



Michael Shannon, 99 HOMES

Jacob Tremblay, ROOM

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Rooney Mara, CAROL

Rachel McAdams, SPOTLIGHT

Helen Mirren, TRUMBO

Alicia Vikander, THE DANISH GIRL

Kate Winslet, STEVE JOBS

The SAG Awards aren't the best for predicting what will happen at the Oscars. But there's no denying that they're an important pre-cursor and they shouldn't be ignored. This year, they made some incredibly interesting choices and some decisions that could really make an impact on the race in the future.

In the cast category (which is basically the SAG's Best Picture category), Spotlight was a sure thing and it continued its solid momentum here. However, I would argue that the other four nominees were pretty surprising, with maybe the exception of The Big Short, a well-reviewed ensemble pick filled with top-notch actors. The fact that Beasts of No Nation got an ensemble nomination for a group of only three actors is a shocker and I have to imagine that not many people were expecting Straight Outta Compton or Trumbo to sneak in either. The Martian missed the cut and so did Steve Jobs, Room, Brooklyn, Joy and The Hateful Eight, which is a big hit for all of those films. I think that The Big Short and Trumbo gain the most from this, but I certainly hope that this helps Compton and Beasts jump up in the eyes of the Oscar voters.

The nominees for Best Actor were all expected, but there were a few shockers in the Best Actress race. Sarah Silverman and Helen Mirren snuck in over Jennifer Lawrence and Charlotte Rampling, favored heavily by prognosticators for their roles in Joy and 45 Years, respectively. Joy took a huge hit at the SAG awards, but I still think that Lawrence and Rampling will have the edge at the Oscars (Rampling hit it big recently at a few critics' award ceremonies, but the trouble will be getting voters to watch her film).

Supporting Actor was a pretty surprising category. Nobody from Spotlight, no Tom Hardy and no Sylvester Stallone, but the SAGs did manage to fit in Michael Shannon, Christian Bale and Jacob Tremblay. Keaton and Ruffalo also took a hit at the Golden Globes, so my theory of the Spotlight guys cancelling each other out is starting to come to fruition at this point. Bale is looking to be a stronger and stronger contender each week, and so is Shannon. Tremblay won't get the Oscar nod, but this is a nice consolation for him.

And finally, the Supporting Actress category was a bit bizarre as well, with the noticeable omissions of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jane Fonda for Helen Mirren (SAG double nominee) and Rachel McAdams. This race is still pretty close and I'm not honestly sure that there's a front-runner yet, so it could continue to get interesting, especially if Rooney Mara or Alicia Vikander get moved out of the category into the lead competition.

Overall, there were some fascinating picks made by the Screen Actors' Guild. Joy and The Martian were crushed here, but The Big Short and Trumbo shot up like a rocket in the Oscar standings. The long-term implications of these nominations could be small, but there's still a general sense of uncertainty over what is going on with this Oscar race. The Golden Globes shook things up too, but that's a topic for tomorrow. But this race is far from over. That's for sure.

Image Credits: Slash Film, YouTube, NPR, Wired, Variety, The Guardian, Hollywood Reporter, NY Post, Variety, Joblo

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