Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SAG Nominees

The Screen Actors Guild is the first industry group out of the gate. As usual, their lists are heavy on Oscar favourites, but the nominating committee is small and random enough to throw in a surprise or two (Welcome to the Oscar race, Emily Blunt and Captain Fantastic?).
Conspicuously missing from their coveted Best Ensemble category is presumed Best Picture frontrunner La La Land. No film has won the Academy's top honour without a SAG Ensemble nod since Braveheart in the SAG Awards' inaugural year. Worth keeping an eye on.

Anyway, here are the nominees their six movie categories:

BEST ENSEMBLE
Captain Fantastic
Fences
Hidden Figures
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Captain Fantastic's inclusion hearkens back to the days when we would regularly get left field inclusions (like Bobby and The Station Agent) with no chance at Best Picture recognition. Now the real question: Does this actually sink La La Land's Best Picture aspirations, or it simply seen as a duet as opposed to an ensemble achievement?

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences
Affleck, Garfield, Gosling and Washington all have Critics Choice and Globe nominations under their belt. Mortensen does too, but only if you count his dubious Best Actor in a Comedy designation from the BFCA. Usually one of the SAG lineup falls out, but who could challenge in this weak year? Edgerton, Driver, Hanks?

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Rough day for Annette Bening and 20th Century Women. Did the nominating committee not get to see it? I'd say that's what happens when you don't open until after Christmas, but Fences did pretty well for itself with a similar release plan. No Negga or Huppert here either. Surely one of them will bump Blunt.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Category fraud strikes again. Twice. In precisely nobody's estimation are Grant or Patel supporting players in their respective films. That said, I do like both performances.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Same four names keep cropping up, plus some interchangeability between Spencer, Monae and Gerwig. Keep wondering if Lily Gladstone of Certain Women could surprise on Oscar morning.

BEST STUNT ENSEMBLE
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
Jason Bourne
Nocturnal Animals
Gotta love all those heart-stopping stunts in Nocturnal Animals. Or maybe the nomination is referring the dancing girls in the film's gross opening credits.
If that's not a stunt I don't know what is.

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