Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
BEASTS OF NO NATION
THE BIG SHORT
Brian D'Arcy James
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
O'Shea Jackson Jr.
David James Elliott
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
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
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
Idris Elba, BEASTS OF NO NATION
Mark Rylance, BRIDGE OF SPIES
Michael Shannon, 99 HOMES
Jacob Tremblay, ROOM
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
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.