Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Only a handful of surprises in SAG nominations

The SAG awards always present something of an enigma to awards watchers. Their nominating committee is significantly smaller than the full membership who votes on the winners, which often results in one or two out-of-left-field contenders. They also decide their nominees so early, that a few late-breaking juggernauts always miss the cut.

Evidence of both these intriguing qualities were present in this morning's nomination announcement, which otherwise stuck to the script most prognosticators imagine will be unfolding this season.

The biggest surprises came from the ladies' acting categories, which saw Jennifer Aniston break into the Best Actress race for her acclaimed work in the micro-indie Cake. Screeners for that one obviously landed in the right hands at the right time. An even more curious nomination is the one Naomi Watts garnered for St. Vincent, which played well at TIFF (on the inaugural 'Bill Murray Day') but has since been all but forgotten.

I have my doubts that either of these actresses will pop up in their respective categories for the Oscars, but you never know. This sort of boost can at least keep the campaigns alive.

Over in the male acting races, the only truly surprising (and super encouraging) nomination was that for Jake Gyllenhaal's career-best work in Nightcrawler. As it was with Aniston and Watts, I'm unconvinced that this will translate into an Oscar nod, but it's enough to maintain my rooting interest. If he shows up on the Golden Globes' slate tomorrow, I'm gonna get really excited!

However, I think it's far more likely that he'll be replaced on the Academy ballot by David Oyelowo of Selma. The civil rights drama was absent from today's honours, but only because it didn't screen in time. You could make a similar case for Unbroken, although its awards futures have been diminishing.

The most important award, Best Ensemble, was predictably populated with high profile Best Picture locks, with one exception: The Grand Budapest Hotel. I can't help but wonder if I've been underestimating its Best Picture chances all year long. I assumed it would be beloved but forgotten, and yet the critics have been doing a pretty good job of reminding people that it's still one of the year's best films, in spite of its early release.

Then again, sometimes this guild just loves large, star-filled ensembles.

I'm afraid my final observation is one of indignation, but it has to be said: Where the !@#% is Captain America in Best Stunt Ensemble? Outrageous!

Anyway, check out all the film nominees:

Best Ensemble:
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Actor:
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress:
Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor:
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Naomi Watts, St. Vincent

Best Stunt Ensemble:
Fury
Get On Up
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Unbroken
X-Men: Days of Future Past

1 comment:

  1. I must ask... how did Get on Up qualify for stunt ensemble? I mean, considering that there's Edge of Tomorrow or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or Captain America as you said all of which had stronger stunt ensembles, why did they go an absolutely perplexing choice here?

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