The 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards airs February 27th and the nominations will be unveiled this Wednesday (01/12). It’s often a more reliable precursor to the acting nominations for the Oscars. Therefore it’s time to make my picks on who and what will grab the nods later this week.
As a reminder, the big prize here is Best Ensemble and not Best Picture. That often favors films with a larger cast though a potent mix with four or more actors can make the cut. Similar to Golden Globe estimates and my forthcoming final Oscar picks, I’ll give you my five contenders along with a runner-up and second alternate with a bit of commentary.
Here we go!
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Don’t Look Up
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story
Runner-Up: Licorice Pizza
Second Alternate: King Richard
Commentary – The three Best Picture frontrunners for the Academy (Belfast, Power, West Side) all seem like pretty safe bets here. If anything is vulnerable, it might be the quartet from Power considering it has a smaller troupe of performers. There’s also some chatter that West Side could be vulnerable because it sent out late screeners for voters, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. For the other two spots, I’m favoring Don’t Look Up‘s large and sprawling cast should make it in. I’ll go with the CODA clan as well though I could easily see Licorice Pizza, King Richard or The Harder They Fall making the cut.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Runner-Up: Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Second Alternate: Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
Commentary – The last four years has seen a 4/5 match with SAG and Oscar when it comes to leading ladies. My current Academy lineup is the same as here (though that’s certainly subject to change). Quite honestly, I tried to make room for Cruz but couldn’t land on who to take out. The most vulnerable could be Chastain, Gaga, or Kidman. I also wouldn’t completely discount Jennifer Hudson for Respect and would have her ranked above Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) for SAG.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in Leading Role
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Peter Dinklage, Cyrano
Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!
Will Smith, King Richard
Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Runner-Up: Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up
Second Alternate: Nicolas Cage, Pig
Commentary – Just as I am with the Oscars – feeling confident about Cumberbatch, Garfield, Smith, and Washington. It’s that fifth slot that’s tricky. I’ll give Dinklage the ever so slight nod over Leo (who’s currently my fifth with the Academy). I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Cage sneak in.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Caitriona Balfe, Belfast
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
Rita Moreno, West Side Story
Runner-Up: Marlee Matlin, CODA
Second Alternate: Ann Dowd, Mass
Commentary – I’m banking on the Guild not passing up a chance to put the legendary Moreno in with her costar DeBose. Speaking of Passing, you’ll notice Ruth Negga (my fifth Oscar player at the moment) isn’t here but she could certainly surface.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Jamie Dornan, Belfast
Mike Faist, West Side Story
Ciaran Hinds, Belfast
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog
Runner-Up: Jared Leto, House of Gucci
Second Alternate: Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
Commentary – Bit of a guessing game as Supporting Actor is a head scratcher for 2021 pics. Going with both Belfast boys and the love continuing for West Side Story with Faist. As for the winner, that could be between Kotsur and Smit-McPhee (I also wouldn’t discount his costar Jesse Plemons getting in). If Leto misses here (and with the Globes omission), his Oscar chances probably disappear.
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble
No Time to Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Runner-Up: The Matrix Resurrections
Second Alternate: The Harder They Fall
This means I’m projecting 4 nominations apiece for Belfast, The Power of the Dog, and West Side Story. I’ll have a recap up Wednesday with my reaction and how well (or not) I did!
P.S. – Golden Globe reactions coming up this evening…