Talk about it everywhere!
This year’s SAG Awards film nominating committee, made up of 2,500 people chosen at random from the full SAG-AFTRA membership, revealed their nominations on Wednesday morning – they voted between December 6 and January 9. – and offered many conflicting signs.
In the highest-profile category, Best Ensemble (which many voters regard as the equivalent of Best Picture), the nom-com selected the mostly Irish cast of Belfast, the largely deaf cast of CODA, the highly diversified distribution of King Richard and the overflowing casts of A-listers from Don’t look up and Gucci House. A Best Ensemble nomination is a great way to recognize all the performers who have worked on a film, which might explain why the nom-com later chose to recognize non-male performers in its individual acting categories. of Belfast (Main actor Jude Hill and supporting actors Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds), the women of CODA (Main actress Emily Jones and supporting actress Marlee Matlin), King Richardthe supporting actress who steals the stage Aunjanue Ellis and anyone associated with Don’t look up. Except they do designate Belfastsupporting actress Caitriona Balfe, King RichardThe main actor Will Smith and the two main actresses Lady Gaga and supporting actor Jared Leto for Gucci House, which makes these other omissions more difficult to understand.
Meanwhile, the nom-com excluded in the best ensemble category Jdog power, though the members liked him enough to nominate him in three individual acting categories, for lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch, supporting actor Kodi Smith McPhee and supporting actress Kirsten Dunst; Be the Ricardos, even if the main actor Javier Bardem and lead actress Nicole Kidman the two made the cut; and West Side Story, a big and strong ensemble if there ever was one, naming only its second actress Ariana DeBose. Go figure.
Nowadays, however, a better set name is much more remarkable than a failed best set. For years, it seemed like a missed best ensemble was the kiss of death for a film’s prospects of winning a Best Picture Oscar; indeed, only Brave Heart managed to defeat the first to win the second – until the last four years, during which three more films (The shape of water, green book and nomadland) did the same. So the main takeaway from the category this morning is that King Richard, CODA, Don’t look up and Gucci House enjoy huge support and should not be underestimated – we already knew that Belfast — in a year where there will be 10 Best Picture Oscar nominees.
The truth is, the most egregious absence this morning was that of the long-presumed favorite for the Leading Actress award, spencerit is Kristen Stewart, who finished in her category behind not only Kidman and Gaga, but also The lost girlit is Olivia Colman and two movie stars who came and went from the conversation relatively early – or so it seemed – Respectit is Jennifer Hudson and Tammy Faye’s eyesit is Jessica Chastain. Perhaps the perception that Stewart was ahead was somewhat exacerbated by the echo chamber of Twitter, on which she is extremely popular. But whatever happens, it’s a blow to his reputation – in the 27 years the SAG Awards have preceded the Oscars, no performance that wasn’t even appointed for a SAG Award went to to earn an Oscar for best actress. And being MIA today is also not encouraging news for Parallel mothersit is Penelope Cruz, West Side Storyit is Rachel Zegler, Licorice Pizzait is Alana Haim, Macbeth’s Tragedyit is Frances McDormand, The last duelit is Jodie Comer Where Who passedit is Tessa Thompson.
The main cast category, however, went more or less as planned, with Smith, Cumberbatch, and Bardem joined by Tick, tick… Boom!it is Andrew Garfield and Macbeth’s Tragedyit is Denzel Washington. I suspect that alley of nightmaresit is bradley cooper and Go on! Go onit is Joaquin Phoenix didn’t miss much (Cooper in particular, given that his co-star Cate Blanchett made the cut in the supporting actress category), so they can’t be counted the rest of the way. But today represented probably the last best hope for several longer shots to start gaining enough momentum to carry them all the way to an Oscar nominee – among them. Cyranoit is Pierre Dinklage, Porkit is Nicholas Cage, Jockeyit is Clifton Collins Jr., Licorice Pizzait is Cooper Hoffman and no time to dieit is Daniel Craig. (To note: red rocketit is Simon Rex was ineligible because his film was made outside of SAG-AFTRA’s low-budget feature agreement.)
In the supporting actress category, the usual suspects – Balfe, Dunst, DeBose and Blanchett – were joined by Who passedit is Ruth Nega, which, curiously, was not nominated by SAG on her way to her best actress Oscar nomination for Magnet five years ago. She also does a good job in this film, but is far from a slam-dunk moving forward, given the high regard for the work – in the higher-profile films – of Ellis, Matlin, The lost girlit is Jessie Buckley, go! Go onit is Gaby Hoffman, Be the Ricardosit is Nina Arianda and two beloved veterans, DeBose co-star Rita Moreno and Balfe co-star Judi Dench, who are both former Oscar winners. Moreover, we can never count Meryl Streep (Don’t look up). Unfortunately, for longer shots like Mass‘ Anne Dowd and Martha Plimpton and Macbeth’s Tragedyit is Catherine Hunter, this is probably the end of the line.
The supporting actor is fascinating, with Smit-McPhee, Kotsur and Leto joined by two A-listers who played smaller roles than usual, The tender barit is Ben Affleck (this is his first-ever individual SAG Award nomination) and the aforementioned Cooper, this time for Licorice Pizza – again, instead of Belfast guys or, for that matter, the Smit-McPhee co-star jesse plemons, Don’t look upit is Jonah Hill, Be the Ricardosit is JK Simmons or one of the many options worthy of large sets of West Side Story and King Richard. Smit-McPhee and Kotsur have been nominated for every major award they’ve been eligible for so far and look to be moving forward. And Cooper seems like an increasingly good bet for his hilarious, offbeat send-off of a unique character to Hollywood that many Academy members remember well, and a nomination for him in that category could also be seen as a way to recognize alley of nightmares performance too. Looking ahead, I’m less confident about Affleck, whose film is only 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Leto, whose Gucci performance is incredibly divisive, as is his performance in The small things, for which he received a SAG nomination but not an Oscar nomination in that same category. These two look very vulnerable to me given the probable tails of the Academy of Belfast, The power of the dog and West Side Story.
Finally, I’ll just compliment the SAG Awards nom-com TV for some wonderful selections. Perhaps they could have spread their names among more shows, given the quality of programming these days, but the shows they recognized are nearly all eminently worthy. korean drama squid game, which is the most-watched show in Netflix history, is now the first non-English-language show to receive a Best Ensemble nomination – SAG-AFTRA, it should be noted, were also the first major group to place behind korean movie Parasite en route to his Best Picture Oscar – and was also nominated in each of the individual acting categories (Lee Jung-Jae for Male Actor and Jung Ho-Yeon for Female Actor). Paramount Network ratings reached Yellowstone, now in its fourth season, finally received its long-awaited first major nomination in the drama ensemble category. And who can chat with Hulu Drug, Great, Only murders in the building and The Handmaid’s Tale; HBO Max hacks; Apples Ted Lasso (who claimed four of the 10 comedic actor names); and HBO Succession (who nabbed four of the 10 Drama Actor Names), The White Lotus and Easttown Mare?!
Final voting for the SAG Awards begins January 19 and closes February 25, the Friday before the ceremony. Let the games begin!