Parasite Invades SAG

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards remained on script for about 99% of its running time last night. And then it went ahead and made this year’s Best Picture race at the Oscars all the more interesting.

Before we get to that, I went four for four in my acting category predictions and did so by sticking with the front runners. Those would be Joaquin Phoenix in Joker and Renee Zellweger in Judy in the leads and Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Laura Dern for Marriage Story with supporting. Let’s be clear: 2019 appears to be a year where there’s strong favorites in all four races. Anyone other than this quartet winning on Oscar night at this point would constitute an upset.

When it comes to the biggest race of all, it’s still open. One could argue that 1917 is a soft front runner after winning Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America (where 13 of 19 recipients this century took the Oscar) and Best Drama at the Golden Globes. The Sam Mendes World War I epic wasn’t nominated for SAG. And therefore the narrative going into yesterday evening is that the winner here could serve as the most viable Academy alternative.

I projected that movie would be Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Yet the SAG branch went with Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite. Perhaps I should have suspected this when its cast (presenting clips) received raucous applause that eclipsed all others. However, I chose not to predict its win, in part, due to no actors getting individual nods for their work. The Parasite victory here is major as its the first foreign language feature to be named in this category. It certainly sets up an argument that the Best Picture derby at the Oscars has really come down to three: 1917, Hollywood, and Parasite.

So what’s next? The Directors Guild of America (DGA) announces their winner this Sunday. That feels important because 16 out of the past 19 directing winners there have taken the gold statue. It’s probably Joon-Ho vs. Mendes and the honoree could then see their film vault to the front of the Picture pack.

Bottom line: SAG solidified the four actors vying for their statues while further complicating the Picture derby.

2019 SAG Awards WINNER Predictions

Another major Oscar precursor holds their ceremony this evening with the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. This particular show has definitely served as a massive indicator where the Academy might go with the acting winners. As for Best Picture, not so much.

So let’s get into it as I make my projections for what will happen tonight!

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

The Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

Analysis: Nyong’o is the odd one out here as she didn’t nab an Oscar nomination. A win here by Johansson and Theron (both are possible) could set up a narrative as being Zellweger’s legit competition. Over the past decade, the SAG and Oscar winner have matched seven out of nine times. The outliers include last year when Glenn Close took the SAG for The Wife and Olivia Colman won the Academy Award for The Favourite. Tonight could also solidify Zellweger’s work as Judy Garland in the biopic. My suspicion is that it happens.

PREDICTED WINNER: RENEE ZELLWEGER

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

The Nominees: Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

Analysis: A Best Actor derby where ten performers were vying for five spots means 2 men here didn’t make the Oscar cut: Bale and Egerton. Therefore, I see this as a three person showdown between DiCaprio, Driver, and Phoenix. The Oscar/SAG linkage here is significant as eight of the last nine victors went on to take the Academy Award. 2016 was the only exception when Denzel Washington got the SAG for Fences and Casey Affleck was the Oscar recipient for Manchester by the Sea.

Driver could be the larger threat, but this season is shaping up to be a sweep for Phoenix. That’s where the smart money is tonight.

PREDICTED WINNER: JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

The Nominees: Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Analysis: There is a 7 for 9 SAG/Oscar match in this category this decade. Foxx didn’t get the Academy attention. Hanks is beloved, but his movie has underwhelmed elsewhere. Pacino and Pesci should split votes. And the narrative continues for Pitt to have a terrific awards season.

PREDICTED WINNER: BRAD PITT

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role 

The Nominees: Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Nicole Kidman (Bombshell), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

Analysis: During the 2010s, there was an 8 for 8 SAG/Oscar match here from 2010-2017. Yet 2018 was the exception and a rather enormous one. Emily Blunt’s victory last year for A Quiet Place was a stunner since she had no Oscar nod. And the Academy’s winner (Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk) didn’t get a SAG nod.

Could this set up a situation where Lopez, snubbed by the Academy, could walk to the podium tonight? I’m tempted to make that upset pick. However, Dern is unquestionably the favorite and I just can’t bet against her.

PREDICTED WINNER: LAURA DERN

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Bombshell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

Analysis: Now here is where it gets interesting! Unlike the individual acting races, there isn’t as much of a history with this category matching up with Oscar’s Best Picture. This decade it’s happened four out of nine times. For the 21st century, it’s nine out of nineteen times.

You don’t see 1917 listed here and with its Golden Globe Best Drama and PGA victories, it’s the soft front runner for Oscar. An omission here doesn’t mean much as the last two Academy BP recipients (The Shape of Water, Green Book) missed here. Other than Bombshell, the nominees here are all nominated for Best Picture. Any of them winning tonight could position that film as the main competitor to 1917. That said, I don’t discount Bombshell taking the prize this evening as it received the greatest number of SAG nods.

Parasite is the only nominee where none of its individual performers were nominated. You could argue that the voters simply saved for their votes for this race. Jojo has its hardcore fans. The Irishman boasts a trio of acting legends.

Ultimately, I’m leaning toward the sprawling cast of Hollywood. Yet I’ll freely admit that this category seems wide open.

PREDICTED WINNER: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

And there you have it! I’ll have a post up recounting how I did and what it means for the Oscar race soon enough…

2019 SAG Awards Nomination Reaction

The Screen Actors Guild voters definitely had some surprises in store this morning as they unveiled their nominations for the ceremony airing on January 19th. And the biggest bombshell was… the performance of Bombshell itself, which led the major nods with four. This was followed by The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at three.

Some quick takes before I break it down race by race. It was a bad morning for Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Little Women, and The Two Popes as they received zero nominations. For Dolemite, I thought this might be the branch that would give it some attention. It wasn’t to be.

The nominations today have made Best Actor more confusing and opened up even more the possibility of two actors that I didn’t have listed as alternates factoring into the Oscar mix. All in all, on a morning that had genuine surprises, I went 16 for 25 on my picks. Here’s how it happened:

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Bombshell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: The absence of Marriage Story here is unexpected. Less so is the omission of the aforementioned Dolemite. I didn’t have Bombshell or Parasite named here. The Parasite nod could be construed as a strong sign that it’s a real contender for Best Picture for that other awards ceremony. This race probably comes down to Irishman or Hollywood and the latter likely has the edge.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: It was Bale and Egerton that I didn’t have listed as my first or second alternate. Those spots were instead designated for Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory and Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems. This opens up Bale and Egerton to greater Academy attention. It’s also worth noting that Robert De Niro’s work in The Irishman has now been snubbed by the Golden Globe and SAG voters. This makes his road to Oscar considerably bumpier. As I suspect it will be with the Oscars, I suspect it’s Driver vs. Phoenix with this category.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: No 5 for 5 projections for this blogger today and this is the only one where I named four correctly. It’s Nyong’o in over Awkwafina in The Farewell and that could assist with her Oscar cred after already picking up some critics awards. While Zellweger might be called the soft front runner, the Bombshell love certainly increases the possibility of a Theron win.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: I mentioned yesterday in my predictions post that it might be foolish to leave out Hanks and I was proven right. The genuine surprise here is Foxx, who has been falling under the radar screen as of late (I didn’t even have him in my top 10 of possibilities in my Oscar estimates on Monday). Expect that to change. Hanks and Foxx are in over Willem Dafoe for The Lighthouse (he missed the Globes too) and Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes. As I said with the Globes, a Pacino/Pesci split could clear the way for Pitt’s trip to the podium.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Nicole Kidman (Bombshell), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: One item I did call was the double nomination for Johansson. I did not anticipate Kidman getting in along with her Bombshell costar Robbie. In fact, I didn’t predict either of them as I went with Florence Pugh in Little Women and Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell. Both of those actresses also missed Globe nods. Dern and Lopez could find themselves in a battle for this one. I also wouldn’t totally rule out the chance for a ScarJo upset as voters may want to honor her double nod (as they did here with Emily Blunt in 2018 for A Quiet Place).

I imagine these SAG Award announcements will impact my thinking when I update my Oscar projections on Monday. Stay tuned…

2019 SAG Award Predictions

In a week filled with Oscar precursor activity, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominees will be announced tomorrow morning. This comes just two days following the reveal of the Golden Globe nods.

As you’re likely aware, this particular ceremony is made up of voters from the card carrying acting community. The top race is not honoring the Best Picture of the year. Instead, it’s bestowing the trophy for the favorite ensemble cast. This explains why, in this decade, the Oscar winner for BP and the winner here have matched only 4 of 9 times.

Let’s break it down in each category as I reveal my anticipated nominees with a first and second alternate. I’ll have a post up tomorrow recounting how I did and how the nominations could impact the Academy’s thought process.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The SAG voters are a tricky bunch to predict and the Ensemble race presents at least a dozen pictures that I feel could make the cut. When predicting the nominees, I’ll divide into three tiers that relate to the impending Oscar nods:

Our first tier consists of movies that are widely expected to be Best Picture nominees and contenders that might potentially win. That list would be The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Parasite. I believe the first three here are close to guarantees for attention here. If any of them miss out, it’ll be widely reported as a surprising snub.

Our second tier consists of movies that are legitimate players for Best Picture nominations, but are unlikely to win. This list includes Bombshell, The Farewell, Jojo Rabbit, and Little Women. An argument could be made that Women would be most obvious to get in. Yet I think this could give Jojo the boost it needs for greater Academy attention.

Our third tier consists of movies that are long shot contenders for Oscar attention. We usually see one of these get a SAG nod. This list includes Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, Hustlers, Knives Out, and Waves. The trendy pick here is Knives as it should be quite fresh on the minds of voters. Waves would be the largest beneficiary since it’s received scant awards chatter lately. I have a hunch that Dolemite could register with the actors branch here.

Predicted Nominees

Dolemite Is My Name

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

First Alternate – Little Women

Second Alternate – Knives Out

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

The last five years of nominees have shown one 5 for 5 match with Oscar in 2016. The other four years gave us 4 out of the 5 eventual Academy nominees. In other words, this race is a massive indication of where voters may go.

2019 presents a challenge as there are nearly dozen legit contenders in the mix. Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix feel safe. The rest is a free for all.

Keeping with my Dolemite theme, the SAG branch may feel tempted to name the legendary Eddie Murphy here. I feel more confident about his inclusion than Adam Sandler, despite his early precursor attention.

Then I’m picking two spots between Christian Bale, Antonio Banderas, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, and Jonathan Pryce. Not an easy task. The Globes notably snubbed De Niro. If that occurs here, expect lots of talk about his dwindling Oscar chances. I’ll say he makes it in along with Leo.

Predicted Nominees

Robert De Niro, The Irishman

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

First Alternate – Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Second Alternate – Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Renee Zellweger and Scarlett Johansson feel like shoo-ins. The rest is uncertain. While Charlize Theron in Bombshell looks good for Oscar, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk she’s named here. My feeling that Little Women gets snubbed in Ensemble could filter down to Saoirse Ronan and her chances. Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, and Lupita Nyong’o are all in the mix.

SAG has given us surprise contenders before, like Sarah Silverman in 2015’s I Smile Back. Could we see something in that order with Mary Kay Place (Diane) or Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell)?

Predicted Nominees

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

First Alternate – Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Second Alternate – Lupita Nyong’o, Us

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Brad Pitt and The Irishman double play of Al Pacino and Joe Pesci should see their names called. Here’s a category where a non Oscar nominee can get in – think Hugh Grant in 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkins or Steve Carell in 2017’s Battle of the Sexes. That spot could go to someone like Wesley Snipes if my Dolemite love turns out real. There’s also Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy, Song Kang-Ho in Parasite, or Sterling K. Brown for Waves. 

Yet I suspect the final two slots will be between Willem Dafoe, Tom Hanks, and Anthony Hopkins. I’ll readily admit it feels awfully strange to predict actors will leave Hanks out, but I’ll go there with trepidation.

Predicted Nominees

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

First Alternate – Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Second Alternate – Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

SAG threw everyone for a loop last year when they didn’t nominate Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk. She ended up taking home the Globe and Oscar. Prior to that, the previous nine SAG winners here also were victorious with the Academy.

Truth be told, this is the category I fear I could go 2 for 5 in. Laura Dern and Jennifer Lopez seem relatively safe. And then it’s picking three slots among Kathy Bates, Annette Bening, Scarlett Johansson (I do believe this is her best opportunity for a double nod), Florence Pugh, Margot Robbie, Zhao Shuzhen, and Maggie Smith. Good luck cracking this one!

Predicted Nominees

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell 

First Alternate – Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Second Alternate – Annette Bening, The Report

That does it for now! Expect a recap coming your way at some juncture tomorrow…

2018 SAG Awards Reaction

The wealth was spread this evening at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards as It provided more clues to how Oscar voters may choose their winners in February. I went 4 for 5 in my predictions and I’m pretty pleased with that because some of these races were quite unpredictable.

The miss was indeed a surprise as Emily Blunt took Supporting Actress for her work in A Quiet Place. She wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar and the exclusion of Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) here was significant. Ironically, the Blunt victory over the Academy nominated Amy Adams in Vice or Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) may give King a boost come Oscar time.

As for the other acting categories, it was another trophy for Mahershala Ali in Green Book for Supporting Actor as he continues to solidify his status as the front-runner. Same goes for Glenn Close in The Wife in lead actress. In lead actor, that’s a bit murkier as Rami Malek took the Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody. I still consider the Oscar race close between him and Christian Bale in Vice. Bradley Cooper’s chances for A Star is Born have dimmed even more.

It was a bad night for that picture as it went 0 for 4. The top Ensemble race went to the sprawling cast of Black Panther. What does that do for its Oscar chances? Truth be told, I think not much as the victor here often doesn’t match the Academy’s Best Picture recipient.

There’s your recap, folks! Now it’s onto more speculation for Oscar…

2018 SAG Award Predictions

The 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award air tomorrow evening and they could shed some light on which performers are looking more solid for the Oscar in a few weeks. Let’s break down the top races with my winner predictions, shall we?

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians, A Star is Born

Analysis: It’s important to note that the SAG ceremony honors casts and not the “Best Picture” like other shows. This is about the ensemble. A Star is Born is really concentrated on three performances (Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliot) and they’re all up for their individual races, where they all have a shot of winning. I believe it’s entirely possible, however, that the trio also all lose and this could be a considerable consolation prize. The other four films have more sprawling casts. That’s especially true for Black Panther and I’ll say the voters ultimately reward in a different category to project.

Winner Prediction: Black Panther

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

The Nominees: Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Analysis: As mentioned, Cooper is a possibility. Yet he’s come up empty in other precursors. This could come down to the two Golden Globe recipients for their categories – Bale and Malek. I think it’s a coin flip to be honest. I’ll give the latter a razor-thin edge.

Winner Prediction: Malek

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

The Nominees: Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Glenn Close (The Wife), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star is Born), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Analysis: Gaga is the only actress whose picture is also nominated. Her tie with Glenn Close at the Critics Choice Awards made things even murkier. Colman is a possibility here, but I’ll say this branch of actors give it to Close after decades of memorable performances.

Winner Prediction: Close

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

The Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliot (A Star is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Analysis: I wouldn’t count out Elliot, but Ali appears to be the front-runner in all these shows. I think his streak continues.

Winner Prediction: Ali

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

The Nominees: Amy Adams (Vice), Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Analysis: A fascinating race as Oscar favorite Regina King’s work in If Beale Street Could Talk was surprisingly snubbed. Blunt is a double nominee, but stands little chance of emerging victorious in either spot. The Favourite ladies could split votes. Robbie didn’t land an Oscar nod and is a long shot. That leaves Adams, who could be a double winner tomorrow with her work in HBO’s Sharp Objects.

Winner Prediction: Adams

And there you have it! I’ll have a recap up after the program airs!

2018 SAG Awards Nominations Reaction

The SAG Awards were announced this morning and a couple of items are clear. First, the Screen Actors Guild nods handed us some genuine surprises. Second, this branch of thespians really love them some Emily Blunt!

I went 18/25 on my predictions and let’s break down each category with some thoughts and my first winner predictions (with final ones coming right before the January ceremony).

Best Ensemble Film

Nominees: A Star Is Born, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians

The nominations reflected yours truly going just 2/5 (ouch). And there were shockers. If Beale Street Could Talk, with its sprawling cast, being snubbed counts as one. I also figured The Favourite and Vice could get in. It was probably foolish to think A Star Is Born would be left out, even if its only a trifecta of actors getting the lions share of attention. BlacKkKlansman wasn’t too surprising, but the inclusion of Bohemian Rhapsody definitely is. It’s probably time to start talking about the real chance it gets a Best Picture nomination, despite many mediocre reviews. The only two I got right: Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. As I see it now, Star could win here. Yet I’m still going with SAG honoring a larger group of performers and I’ll go with an unprecedented MCU victory (for now).

Predicted Winner: Black Panther

Best Actor

Nominees: Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Four out of five here with Ethan Hawke’s work in First Reformed and his momentum from critics group being interrupted. It’s John David Washington getting in for BlacKkKlansman instead. I had Ryan Gosling for First Man in as an alternate and it’s worth mentioning that the Neil Armstrong biopic received zero nominations.

Bale and Mortensen might have shots (and maybe even Malek), but Cooper has the edge.

Predicted Winner: Cooper

Best Actress

Nominees: Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Glenn Close (The Wife), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Four for five. My upset pick of Toni Collette getting recognition for Hereditary didn’t pan out. Instead it was the aforementioned Ms. Blunt in with the rest of the expected nominees. Even with Actress having lots of options in 2018, this is beginning to look like the consensus Academy five. Like the Oscar race, I expect this to come down to Close v. Gaga.

Predicted Winner: Gaga

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliot (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Five for five. Like Actress, this is also looking to be the most probable group of Oscar nominees. And it’s a genuine three-way competition between Ali, Elliot, and Grant. You could flip a coin at the moment.

Predicted Winner: Ali

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Amy Adams (Vice), Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Three for five. The exclusion of Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk (considered somewhat of an Oscar favorite) is totally unexpected. So is the inclusion of Blunt, who got an Actress nod and was a surprise nominee two years ago for The Girl on the Train. Claire Foy didn’t get in for First Man as Margot Robbie did (that could help her chances with the Academy). Honestly, I would have picked King to win had she been named here. I could see either of the Favourite ladies possibly winning, but I’ll go with Adams (who’s also nominated in the TV race for Sharp Objects). She could also win that and probably will.

Predicted Winner: Adams

And there you have it! Expect plenty more awards show and Oscar analysis in short order.

2018 SAG Awards Predictions

Yet another major precursor enters the fold tomorrow when the Screen Actors Guild nominations are announced. Unlike other awards shows, it’s wise to remember that this ceremony is solely voted upon by the thespians who make up SAG. That means no Director race.

More importantly, it means “Best Picture” does not exist. The big prize is Best Ensemble. That designation favors films with large casts. Let’s break down the five major categories with predictions and an alternate and wild card, shall we?

Best Ensemble

As mentioned, big casts help. That would seem to favor something like If Beale Street Could Talk with its sprawling one, as well as Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. Another pic fitting the bill is Vice. As long as the guild members saw it in time, I think it stands an excellent shot.

A Star Is Born is more of a question mark. While it could be looked at as a soft front-runner for Best Picture (along with Roma, which I don’t believe factors here), the actors garnering attention are Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Sam Elliot. While I believe they will be individually noticed, I’m questioning whether the picture itself is named here. The Favourite (even with it also being focused mostly on three actresses) likely has a better chance. There’s certainly other possibilities and they include BlacKkKlansman, Green Book, and Widows (though it’s seen its awards fortunes dwindle).

Predicted Nominees

Black Panther

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite

If Beale Street Could Talk

Vice

Alternate – A Star Is Born

Wild Card – Widows

Best Actor

The nominees for Actor here are a solid predictor for Oscar inclusion. In 2015 and 2017, four of the performers here went on to be honored by the Academy. In 2016, it was all five. I’m going with the 5 men I see as most likely to score an Oscar nod at this juncture – with a sneaking suspicion that Ryan Gosling for replace one of then.

Predicted Nominees

Christian Bale, Vice

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Alternate – Ryan Gosling, First Man

Wild Card – Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Best Actress

There’s not quite as much match with Oscar and SAG here – three in 2015 and 2016 and four last year. As has been discussed many times on this blog, Best Actress is packed in 2018. The potential for a “surprise nominee” here is very real. I feel the need to pick one and I’m going with Toni Collette in Hereditary over the more probable Academy nominee Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns.

Predicted Nominees

Glenn Close, The Wife

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate – Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Wild Card – Viola Davis, Widows

Best Supporting Actor

We had an outlier in 2015 when only two of the SAG nominees here got Oscar attention. For the past two years, it’s been four. If there’s a real shocker here, look out for names like Daniel Kaluuya (Widows) or Russell Hornsby (The Hate U Give). I’m not willing to be that bold with my picks though.

Predicted Nominees

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate – Sam Rockwell, Vice

Wild Card – Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Best Supporting Actress

The SAG/Oscar match was four in 2015, five in 2016, and three for 2017. I’m estimating the five performers here match last week’s Golden Globe nominations. If there’s a surprise, look for Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), Natalie Portman (Vox Lux), or Marina de Tavira (Roma).

Predicted Nominees

Amy Adams, Vice

Claire Foy, First Man

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Alternate – Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Wild Card – Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians

And there you have it! I’ll have reaction up tomorrow after the announcements are made.

 

2017 SAG Awards Predictions

With Oscar nominations set to drop Tuesday, a big precursor is bestowing trophies on Sunday night when the SAG Awards air. Oftentimes, this particular show can be a better indicator of things to come at the Academy Awards than the Golden Globes.

In the 23 years that the SAG ceremony has been held, the winners of the four categories have matched up with Oscar as follows:

Actor: 18/23

Actress: 17/23

Supporting Actor: 14/23

Supporting Actress: 16/23

Of course, since this is an award given out by fellow actors, there is no “Best Picture” category. Instead the night’s top prize is Best Ensemble (which has matched Best Picture just 10 of 23 times). The individual acting races could give further fuel to performers looking for that Oscar and continue to dilute the hopes of others.

Here’s my estimates for the SAG winners on Sunday:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominees:

The Big Sick

Get Out

Lady Bird

Mudbound 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Predicted Winner: Gary Oldman

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Predicted Winner: Frances McDormand

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Willem Dafoe

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Hong Chau, Downsizing

Holly Hunter, The Big Sick

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Predicted Winner: Allison Janney

And there you have it! You can peruse my FINAL Oscar predictions here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/18/todds-2017-final-oscar-predictions/

 

2016 SAG Awards Predictions

The final major awards ceremony before Oscar takes place tonight on TBS and TNT as the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards airs. These awards and winners are voted by fellow thespians, so the races are a bit different in the sense that there’s no Best Picture per se. Instead it’s Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and the five nominated pictures contains one rather glaring omission: La La Land, even though it’s the front runner at the Academy Awards.

We do have the other acting races we’re accustomed to, as well as Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture. Let’s break each category down one by one with my predicted winners for this evening.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture 

Nominees: Captain Fantastic, Fences, Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Predicted Winner: Moonlight

Analysis: The recipient here could solidify its status as Most Likely to Win Best Picture at the Oscars if La La doesn’t. I’ll predict the SAG voters give the edge to Barry Jenkins acclaimed drama over Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester, just like the Globes did.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Predicted Winner: Casey Affleck

Analysis: The five nominees match five for five with the Academy. Affleck has received the lions share of precursors thus far and I expect that to continue here. Washington is the only other possibility.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Amy Adams (Arrival), Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Predicted Winner: Natalie Portman

Analysis: Yes, I’m going for the minor upset here as Stone is the likely front runner. Only the two of them and Streep match the Oscar nods, as SAG honored Adams and Blunt instead of Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and Ruth Negga (Loving).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion)

Predicted Winner: Mahershala Ali

Analysis: A win by either Bridges or Patel wouldn’t surprise me, but Ali has picked up a lot of critics prizes. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, surprise Globe winner for Nocturnal Animals, isn’t present here.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Predicted Winner: Viola Davis

Analysis: Another exact match with Oscar and I expect the same result – a win for Ms. Davis. Anything else would be a surprise.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Hacksaw Ridge, Jason Bourne, Nocturnal Animals

Predicted Winner: Hacksaw Ridge

Analysis: This is a tough one as either of the comic book flicks could win. Still, I’ll go with the only nominated Best Picture at the Oscars. By the way, why Nocturnal is present here baffles me.

And there you have it! Happy watching tonight…