Another significant piece of the Oscar prognosticating puzzle is put together on Wednesday when nominations for the 29th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards are dropped. The ceremony’s main prize, it’s important to note, is not Best Picture but Best Ensemble. That means a correlation from the Oscar BP and the top race here is not apples to apples. It is worth noting that half of the last 10 SAG Ensemble victors (Argo, Birdman, Spotlight, Parasite, CODA) did go on to win BP from the Academy. On the other hand, three recent BPs (The Shape of Water, Green Book, Nomadland) didn’t make the SAG quintet at all.
Let’s go through all six categories one by one with my picks and a runner-up call, shall we?
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
There are plenty of possibilities including box office hits like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, and Top Gun: Maverick. For Panther, the original won Ensemble in 2018 so the sequel materializing is feasible. I wouldn’t discount the sprawling cast of Babylon though middling reviews could hurt it. It’s tempting to pick Glass Onion but I’m hesitant since Knives Out was snubbed in 2019.
Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Fabelmans seem safe. Despite the small call sheet for The Banshees of Inisherin (with just four significant roles), I could see the SAG branch honoring it. I’m also liking The Woman King‘s chances. Women Talking is perhaps the biggest question mark. It has underperformed with precursors. A couple of months ago, I’d have considered it a potential frontrunner to win. Now I wonder if it makes it at all. Nevertheless – here’s my take:
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Woman King
Runner-Up: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
In the previous decade, SAG in Actress has matched the Academy 4/5 on six occasions and 3/5 on four. There are no perfect correlations. SAG has shown they will throw in a shocker – Jennifer Aniston in Cake, Sarah Silverman for I Smile Back or Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train are recent examples. If there’s one here, look out for Naomi Ackie (Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody).
Margot Robbie (Babylon) is currently the one I’ve got in the Academy five (for the moment) that I don’t have here. Ana de Armas (Blonde) is a real threat. If she makes this quintet, look for her Oscar stock to soar. With those possibilities mentioned, my choices are…
Cate Blanchett, Tár
Viola Davis, The Woman King
Danielle Deadwyler, Till
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Runner-Up: Ana de Armas, Blonde
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Brendan Fraser (The Whale) should all be safe. Bill Nighy (Living) is fourth though I suspect there’s a better chance at SAG leaving him off than the Academy. Then there’s that five spot. It could be Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Tom Hanks (A Man Called Otto), Hugh Jackman (The Son), or Paul Mescal (Aftersun). Take your pick. I’m leaning toward the star of the year’s biggest hit. On a side note, there’s been a SAG/Oscar match of 5/5 for the previous two cycles.
Austin Butler, Elvis
Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Bill Nighy, Living
Runner-Up: Paul Mescal, Aftersun
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Last year was an anomaly when just 2 of the SAG nominees (Ariana DeBose for West Side Story and The Power of the Dog‘s Kirsten Dunst) scored Oscar nods. The magic number is usually 3 or 4. The wide open nature of this race has been discussed a lot on the blog. Beyond my picks and runner-up, don’t discount Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Claire Foy (Women Talking), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Janelle Monae (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery), and Carey Mulligan (She Said).
Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Jessie Buckley, Women Talking
Hong Chau, The Whale
Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Runner-Up: Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Like Supporting Actress last year, there was only a 2 for 5 match with Troy Kotsur in CODA and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog. Usually it’s 4. For 2022, I believe only Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Gleeson are safe assumptions. The remaining three slots should be some combo of Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Tom Hanks (Elvis), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Brad Pitt (Babylon), and Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse) sorting it out.
Paul Dano, The Fabelmans
Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse
Runner-Up: Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble
Don’t discount The Batman or Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but my quintet is as follows…
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Top Gun: Maverick
The Woman King
That equates to these movies generating these numbers:
The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans, The Woman King
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale, Women Talking
The Batman, Elvis, The Good Nurse, Living, Tár, Till
On Wednesday evening you can expect a recap of what happens after noms are revealed!