Wednesday, December 9, 2015

SAG nominations scattered amongst the pretenders

The first big guild announcement of the season dropped this morning, but when all is said and done, it may not have been such an impactful announcement.

SAG's attention was splintered all over the place, and seems especially out of sync with pundit logic this season. Aggressively campaigned films like Trumbo and The Big Short performed well, but could both conceivably be shut out the Oscars. Some categories could even have as little as an 0/5 overlap with the eventual Oscar slate (especially that Supporting Actor category). For the time being, it keeps any frontrunners a happy mystery. Check out the nominees and my brief knee-jerks after the jump.
Is nomination leader Trumbo really an Oscar threat? Perhaps for Crantson...

Best Ensemble
Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton
Beasts of No Nation is a surprise, but what's most surprising is that there may end up being only one eventual Best Picture nominee out of this entire group. The one and only film to win Best Picture without a SAG Ensemble nomination was Braveheart, back in the award show's inaugural year. Just putting that out there.

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Johnny Depp - Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
This feels like the only SAG lineup that could feasibly repeat at the Oscars. Still wouldn't count out Matt Damon or Michael Caine, but who gets squeezed out?

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Helen Mirren - The Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman - I Smile Back
Sleeper nomination here for Sarah Silverman's dramatic foray I Smile Back. Reviews have been mixed for this under-the-radar indie but Silverman's performance has been almost unanimously well-received. Don't hold your breath for similar Oscar attention. Remember Cake?

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay - Room
SAG is obligated to adhere to studio categorizations, hence Tremblay's dubious classification here. Thrilled to see this precocious, affecting performance recognized, but shame on the Academy if they stick him in this category too! In what universe is the narrator of the film -- who is in virtually every scene -- a supporting role?

Best Supporting Actress
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Helen Mirren - Trumbo
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
No Jennifer Jason Leigh for Hateful 8, but films that open late always suffer with this first-out-of-the-gate guild. I'm sure Mara and Vikander are excellent in their respective films, but since this is an award for supporting roles, I have to root for Kate Winslet. No offense to McAdams, but for hers to be the sole performance nominated from Spotlight's stellar ensemble is kinda embarrassing. That's internal vote-pulling for ya.

Best Stunt Ensemble
Mad Max: Fury Road
everybody else (though that's hardly fair to the actual nominees Everest, Furious 7, Jurassic World and Missions Impossible: Rogue Nation, but we all know this is one guild prize that George Miller's action opus has locked up.)


  1. Very... interesting nominees. More excited for Globes tomorrow however. Supporting Actor is very "what?" this year IMO. But could we be underestimating Rylance, who has been winning everything in the circuit?

    1. I feel we've been estimating him just right; Surefire nominee, probably down too him vs. Stallone for the win.

    2. It's also that the circuit in general has been such a puzzle and giving us no clear frontrunner thus far. But I actually kinda like this because it makes the race more unpredictable.